The Daily Ping

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January 5th, 2002

The Big Bang in My Head

Every so often, I’ll be laying in bed in a light sleep, when I’ll hear a loud bang that startles me awake, only to find there really was no sound. It’s weird when it happens—like someone is inside my head and hits a sheet of metal with a crowbar. I know that a few months ago I looked on the web and found there was a term for this, but I can’t seem to find it now. Has anyone else experienced the phenomenon or know anything about it?

Posted in Everyday Life

FROM: Chris
DATE: Saturday January 5, 2002 -- 8:50:15PM
Hey - how about a little script so the ping will remember who I am...

BTW, that sound that you heard probably came from the house across the street from mine - they are damn loud...

FROM: jk
DATE: Saturday January 5, 2002 -- 10:29:22PM
Is this the same as when you feel like someone has shaken the bed? The sniglet for that is "napjerk", funny that I remember that.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Sunday January 6, 2002 -- 4:50:54 am
Chris -- That's frightening that you requested that. I assume you see why now. :)

jk -- I always get those when I miss a step on a flight of stairs in a dream...

FROM: Steve
DATE: Friday February 1, 2002 -- 2:50:15 am
this thing you describe, i heve discussed it with people, and i get something similar- i dont hear a bang, but i feel like im falling for about 1/2 a second, then, i wake up, startled, and completely awake.

DATE: Monday March 1, 2004 -- 1:06:16 am
Yes, light sleep and bang. Sometimes with flash of light inmy head. Makes ears ring sometimes. Find a name for it yet?

FROM: Ryan [E-Mail]
DATE: Monday March 1, 2004 -- 12:27:42 pm
Nope, but it happened again last night...

DATE: Thursday April 1, 2004 -- 11:33:10 pm
Check this site out.

FROM: Ryan [E-Mail]
DATE: Friday April 2, 2004 -- 9:49:55 am
Holy crap. I have "exploding head syndrome!"

That's so cool. :)

FROM: Norm
DATE: Monday November 8, 2004 -- 3:45:07 am
I have exploding head syndrome,just found out proper name for it today.Trippy man,thought i was the only one that had that experiance.Scares the hell out of me when i have episode,to weird

FROM: Choco
DATE: Monday November 15, 2004 -- 1:32:24 pm
Wow... I'm not alone.

FROM: Vinnie Will
DATE: Sunday November 21, 2004 -- 11:27:57 pm
I happens to me often, a few nights ago it was a bad one. Also with the bang was a bright flash in my head. when I got my thoughts together I felt some pain in the front of my head. Is thee a name for this event.

FROM: david
DATE: Sunday December 26, 2004 -- 6:12:06 am
ive had it too i think its something spiritual or ghostly or something my girlfriend has had it too. interisting to do more research in

FROM: Gary Kay
DATE: Wednesday January 19, 2005 -- 9:48:27 pm
I have had this syndrome for several years and I just now have found out what it is....amazing and very good to know. I have had a cat scan and a brain scan and neither my doctor or a neurosurgeon were able to diagnose. Thank God for the internet!

My experinces come and go, and the sensation varies tremendously. Sometimes it is quite mild, sometimes it is frighteningly "huge" and explosive.

I'd like more info.....

FROM: Gary Kay
DATE: Friday January 28, 2005 -- 7:04:27 pm
does anybody know of any research or study groups re: exploding head syndrome?

FROM: Kelpie
DATE: Sunday January 30, 2005 -- 8:16:58 am
I developed this syndrome some years ago but, until tonight, I had no idea it had a name, or that I'm not the only person this happens to.

While researching something else I came across a reference to "Exploding Head Syndrome" and immediately recognised that as what I experience.

It's great to know that I'm not alone, nor imagining this as I've sometimes wondered, lol.

FROM: Brett
DATE: Wednesday February 9, 2005 -- 7:39:14 pm
I have EHS as well. However, I also get adrenaline overproduction, which causes my muscle to twitch randomly. Apparently this is one of the "side effects" of EHS. I have tried clonazepam, a sleeping pill, that worked quite well for supressing EHS, but only for a limited time, as you become desensitized to it. Paroxetine is also supposed to help, according to my neurologist. Clomipramine is also suggested.

FROM: Mary
DATE: Friday March 4, 2005 -- 2:20:20 pm
I'm pleased to find I'm not alone. I've just started getting these loud bangs waking me up and was most alarmed. Pleased to find its harmless. I was imagining all sorts of serious problems. Thank god for the internet!

FROM: Irene
DATE: Tuesday March 15, 2005 -- 11:39:49 am
I can't believe that EHS is a real condition! I've been thinking I'm going mad with these bangs that wake me up at night and now I know what the name for it is. I'm so relieved to know and I'll be telling my Dr about this as she doesn't know what's wrong with me and is sending me to the sleep lab to have my head checked out !!

FROM: Ryan [E-Mail]
DATE: Tuesday March 15, 2005 -- 12:10:11 pm
The Sleep Lab.

There's a place I'd like to be a patient.

FROM: robuck
DATE: Thursday March 17, 2005 -- 4:23:01 am
Have experienced EHS for 35 yrs. Have been indulging in cannabis and acid and mushrooms for 40 yrs. Any connection?

DATE: Wednesday April 6, 2005 -- 12:07:19 am
Just Curious if you guys found a link between caffeine or nervousness before bed... although it has only happened 2 times in 3 years I worry about it scaring me every night

FROM: sn
DATE: Wednesday May 4, 2005 -- 12:29:44 pm
I always thought it was night terrors, but now I'm sure it's EHS. If I get stressed, I'm sure to get one or many in one night. Always one hour after going to sleep.

FROM: dcorbett
DATE: Wednesday May 4, 2005 -- 7:25:14 pm
I have had this a lot, it almost sounded electrical. Really freaky, it would happen just before drifting in to semi-conciousness. I thought it was because I was like Robuck,still could be. I found that when I went to the Chiropracter to relieve neck pressure and got regular massages it went away. Haven't had it in years.

FROM: Eureka
DATE: Saturday June 18, 2005 -- 3:21:28 pm
I have been experiencing these since I was a child. They happen during periods of stress or when I've been around chemicals. I had not had any episodes for several years and then when I was working in a salon I started having them every night. I started a different career and they went away. Now household cleaners and stress triggers them. I've seen doctors and they have no idea what to say or do. Most of them are not informed about EHS.
This isn't something to be alarmed about. Everything I've heard about it claims that it is harmless, although very annoying and can interrupt sleep.
My EHS usually occurs right when I'm falling to sleep and involves the loud noise, a sudden jolt, and I'm usually left gasping for air. I think the other things are just a reaction to the noise itself.

FROM: mrs m e allison
DATE: Wednesday June 22, 2005 -- 7:00:48 am
Ialso have EHS and have been having it nightly for 3 years and it terrifies me witless loudbangs and sometimes flashes like forked lightning where ever it touches i get a shock of pins and needles either in my thumbs or in both hands and running down my face , now on the exsploding im getting a violent jerking in my sholder or my leg kicks out its so scarey . and this always happens as i drift into the edge of sleep although im not yet asleep i havnt been offered a cat scan and i would like to have one .too calm my fears it happens from 2 to 6 times a night

FROM: Judy
DATE: Wednesday June 29, 2005 -- 7:16:18 pm
Am 55 and have had "it" for years. It will happen several times nightly for a few weeks and then go away for a year or 2. I thought that I way crazy.

FROM: Fran
DATE: Wednesday June 29, 2005 -- 11:15:59 pm
I have to laugh. I read about Exploding Head Syndrome in a rerun Dave Barry column and immediately recognized it. I've had it for years, and always thought of it as "that gunshot noise". My heart races for a little while, but once I'm sure that I'm not shot, I just go back to sleep.
I can say with confidence that it has nothing to do with caffeine, as I have had no caffeine for the last 15 years, and I still occasionally wake up with EHS. Fatigue and stress correlate pretty well, though.

FROM: Gael
DATE: Thursday July 7, 2005 -- 3:01:02 am
Have just found out this week that I have EHS, am astounded that it has a name. Had it every night for last 2 months sometimes all night. The loud bangs, the electrical type buzz, the clanging metalic sound, lights flashing, always just as Im dropping into semi-consciousness, but also have been woken from sleep with it. Astounding to know so many have it as well, dont feel so bad now, but wonder whats going on for us all to have this same weird thing.

FROM: snaily
DATE: Thursday July 7, 2005 -- 2:02:18 pm
i seem to get the same falling sensation right before i fall asleep. i read somewhere that your sub concious brain give you the sensation to represent your system sort of shutting down for a good night sleep. i dont know ow much i believe that though

FROM: hb
DATE: Wednesday July 13, 2005 -- 1:06:03 pm
The first time this happened to me I was 9 years old & sitting on the counter in our kitchen.

Once in the 1980s when I was dozing on my couch, I heard the noise, & I felt the couch shake as if it had dropped from 10 feet. It felt like an earthquake.

The EHS kept up till I reached my early 50s. For whatever reason (probably hormonal?), it's sharply abated since then. I've never over-indulged in drugs, alcohol, etc. Since my 40s, I've mostly given up even the occasional glass of wine.

I made the mistake of mentioning my EHS to a few doctors along the way. They would draw back & raise their eyebrows &, I imagine, wonder if I didn't have just a wee, tiny psychosis.

Glad to finally see some research validation on the web.

FROM: jl
DATE: Thursday July 21, 2005 -- 5:12:19 am
I just had an attack. I happened upon the name for it at Wikipedia a few months ago and went back to it tonight and followed a link from there to here.

The first time a had it was like 8 years ago. I was living with my parents and I thought I heard someone fire a shot gun outside my window. I woke up with a racing heart. I went to the living room and asked my father if he'd heard that. The fact that he was calmly watching TV and his perplexed expression clued me in pretty quick that he hadn't.

I was very ill with biploar disorder at the time so I thought it was just another symptom of that since I was suffering from periodic manic psychosis.

But it occured about once a year even after I got better.

After reading that Wikipedia article and knowing what it is, when I had the attack tonight, I had no racing heart. I even seemed to hear it differently. It seemed less real.

I agree with the person above who found the correlation with stress and fatigue. I was pretty stressed tonight and absolutely exhausted when I fell asleep.

FROM: Ryan [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday July 21, 2005 -- 11:41:00 am
I had another mild attack a couple of weeks ago and woke up thinking, "Hey, my head just exploded."

FROM: \'Chele
DATE: Sunday July 31, 2005 -- 5:49:58 pm
WOW!! I'm not crazy!! I didn't start having this until I after came down with Meningitis. Since then, I started to have some type of seizure disorder. When I described this (my brain explosions) feeling to my Neuro, he looked at me like I was a nut! I see a new Neuro on Monday, hopefully, he'll be a little more open

DATE: Saturday August 13, 2005 -- 1:19:29 pm
Just stumbled across this from Wiki, I occasionally suffer from what sound and feel like electrical head shocks, like lightning ripping through my skull, It's only happened while trying to get to sleep at night, stressed and exhausted sounds about right as well. It's really deeply unpleasant, makes me wonder if one time I just won't 'restart', not cool at all.

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Saturday August 13, 2005 -- 7:24:02 pm
The Big Band in my head has got to be either the Glenn Miller Orchestra or Tommy Dorsey Orchestra.

Oh wait! It says "Big Bang in My Head."


FROM: Scott
DATE: Sunday August 14, 2005 -- 6:18:19 am
Thank God I'm not alone! Sounds like a huge firecracker going off in the middle of my forehead, right on the verge of deep sleep. Seems to only happen when falling asleep lying on my back; sleeping on my side or stomach, it doesn't occur. Weird, huh?

FROM: June
DATE: Saturday September 3, 2005 -- 10:05:21 am
I have had this horrible condition for almost four and a half years. In that time I have been to 3 sleep centres. The last one confirmed these attacks as EHS. Like many of you I have felt I was the only one to have this condition. I would add that including the loud bank and the sense of being struck by lightening, the 'blast' seems to expand outwards through my upper chest. Very, very terrifying but at last I know I am not alone.

DATE: Saturday September 24, 2005 -- 5:40:25 pm
My first attack sounded like a loud gun shot, right beside my ear. My heart racing, I immediately awoke my husband and asked if he heard the gun my surprise he said "What gun shot?" It was so loud the neighbors had to hear it too. I dozed off curious about what I heard but I knew it was definitely a gun shot and it was close. It occurred again in the middle of the day while I was napping...definitely an adrenaline pumper. I went to the internet and thank God, found my problem was Exploding Head Syndrome. I also wanted an MRI to rule out a tumor or whatever was causing the noise to occur. I also got the funny look from my doctor when I told him about EHS...he was totally uninformed. It comes and goes. This time I find myself waking up to answer the ringing phone only to get a dial tone. Other times I am jarred awake by an electrical humming. It is really scary because I don't know what sound to expect next to jar me awake. I suppose we can all take comfort in knowing it is harmless. I'm 59, female, retired and seldom under stress but I do suffer from headaches.

FROM: Teri
DATE: Monday September 26, 2005 -- 11:38:57 pm
the medical term is called exploding head syndrome. There is info on the web about it. I experience it too. No fun!!!

FROM: Ryan [E-Mail]
DATE: Tuesday September 27, 2005 -- 9:59:58 am
Yeah, we determined that a while ago.

FROM: Andrea
DATE: Monday October 10, 2005 -- 8:34:28 am
The other night my husband jumped out of bed and told me there was an accident in front of the house. I heard it, but I thought it was my EHS acting up! I didn't even flinch!

DATE: Thursday October 13, 2005 -- 6:10:07 am
I am so damn happy to know in not crazy. I have been having these attacks for years. I often wake up hearing a loud gunshot or a loud electrical noise that sounds like a Tesla Coil producing lightning. I wake up sweating, panting for breath and feeling like my heart is gonna beat out of my chest. I did try to talk to a couple of doctors about it but they really didnt take me seriously, so it is nice to know i am not alone. :)

FROM: lucy [E-Mail]
DATE: Sunday October 16, 2005 -- 4:15:22 am
i had this once and it was terrifieng i thought about it for weeks i heard a gun shot and thoyght id been shot in the head or something i also seen a flashed i moved quickly startled and my heart raced it was so scary and i thought i was the only one to get it and i was krazy this page has been so helpfull and eased my worry some more

FROM: Stik
DATE: Tuesday October 25, 2005 -- 1:46:12 am
i had this once - it was the strangest thing id ever experienced - i was just staring off into the dark and then i felt totally shocked and unreal as i heard a loud noise as if someone was blowing in my ear and my vision was filled with a bright blue flash - afterwards my heart was pumping like crazy - and to find out that i had an episode of EHS...i think i was just weird

DATE: Wednesday October 26, 2005 -- 2:41:09 am
Isn't it fantastic when you are told what it is and that it isn't going to kill you, and you are not going mad. I have had the works, bangs and flashes but feel that i can now cope. I had ME when i was younger and wonder if there is a connection

FROM: Angie
DATE: Thursday October 27, 2005 -- 9:54:28 pm
Well what a huge relief. I have been having these noises in my head just as I am dropping off to sleep for over a year now. I shall now put it down to stress, as that figures only too well. I lost my Dad and then a year later his Brother was murdered.
I was recently admitted to hospital with suspected meningitiis and my head has not felt right since, I have tinnitus too and was becoming very worried that something more sinister was going on.
Thanks for taking the time to post, it has eased my mind so much.

FROM: Roids
DATE: Wednesday November 2, 2005 -- 6:38:14 pm
Hey fellow EHSers!

Had this happen to me a week ago and didnt know what it was. I also had the gunshot noise and flash of light. Not going through anything stressful though, I thought it was pretty cool when it happened!

The sound reminded me of my .22 magnum rifle!

FROM: cathy
DATE: Thursday November 3, 2005 -- 3:10:34 am
i have this too. bangs and flashes. i have started having non epileptic seizures too( caused by stress) wonder if this is connected.

FROM: Steve
DATE: Thursday November 3, 2005 -- 9:52:40 am
I get this one or two weeks a year. I dont do drugs, I dont drink. I do smoke, and I drink a lot of caffeine. I have had this in the middle of vacation once, so I dont think its stress related. For me it seems to be caffeine induced. It being caused by exhaustion seems possible as well. Its always the exact same. Someone earlier said that it sounds like a Tesla Coil producing lightning. Thats EXACTLY how I would describe it. It does not sound like a gunshot for me. I always told my parents when it would happen (It started when I was a child), and I always told them that it was the reason that Im a mad super genius :) I see a bright flash too when it occurs. I dont have any other symptoms that you guys described though. The only other thing that goes along with it for me is a racing heart, but thats simply because it scares the crap out of me after it happens. Glad to know its harmless, and glad to know Im not the only person it happens to.

FROM: bill
DATE: Thursday November 3, 2005 -- 8:36:58 pm
sometimes i wake up suddenly like if im about to fall over in a dream or if i trip or something. its startling

FROM: Terron
DATE: Monday November 7, 2005 -- 2:25:40 am
Does everyone believe in alien abduction? Maybe we all have implants in our head that's making our noggins explode from within! LoL

FROM: bob
DATE: Thursday November 10, 2005 -- 5:59:09 am
This is my second post.
As Steve said, it is not a bang. I get a loud twang or buzz which i cannot , describe fully. I also get the flashing lights, yellow or blue, with the noise. Is muscle twitching a part of it too? I am trying to find out what, if anything causes the episodes, about three a year. I suspect there is a trigger, but whether it is just stress (and muscle tension that it creates) or chemical/ environmental i don't know. It does seem to happen when i am working in the house, painting, or decorating. Has any real research been carried out and if so are the results available.

FROM: bob
DATE: Thursday November 10, 2005 -- 6:32:58 am
This is my second post.
As Steve said, it is not a bang. I get a loud twang or buzz which i cannot , describe fully. I also get the flashing lights, yellow or blue, with the noise. Is muscle twitching a part of it too? I am trying to find out what, if anything causes the episodes, about three a year. I suspect there is a trigger, but whether it is just stress (and muscle tension that it creates) or chemical/ environmental i don't know. It does seem to happen when i am working in the house, painting, or decorating. Has any real research been carried out and if so are the results available.

FROM: Gerie
DATE: Saturday November 12, 2005 -- 4:42:04 pm
After a night at the sleep disorder clinic in which I awoke many times, my usual pattern, I decided to pay attention to what was going on. Lights flash in my headand wake me up. Four years ago I was diagnosed with sleep apnea and was on a cpap machine for three years. Before I could get a replacement machine last year I had to get another sleep study. The diagnoses was not sleep apnea but something caused me to wake up 52 times. I had three failed visits with a neurolgist (study did not arrive then referal expired). I put on 25 pounds in the year with no change in diet or exercise and was always exhausted. I decided to use my cpap machine again when I read that there is a correlation between apnea and weight gain. My weight stabilized.I seemed to sleep better. Then my pulminary specialist said that I should have another sleep study to see if the apnea returned(whether apnea cause weight gain or the weight gain caused a return of apnea.) I do not have apnea but woke up over 50 times. Last night I paid attention to what was going on. Each awakening follows a burst of light. I just looked this upon Google and found exploding head syndrome. I do not hear noise, only a flash and I wake up and open my eyes.

FROM: naplesdee
DATE: Wednesday November 16, 2005 -- 12:57:53 pm
Well I am happy to find out I am not going crazy. I get the works, lights, the THX theater sounds complete with the buzz and shocks. Because I have been paralyzed with fear I try to grab for my husband and think I am, only to wake and find my hands under my pillow.
I have had some problems with my left ear and I wear ear plugs to sleep. I am wondering if there is some correlation because my inner ear makes clicky sounds in the day. I do not drink more than 1/2 of cup of caffiene a day usually coffee in the morning.
I do think it has something to do with blood pressure. I bought a machine and my blood pressure goes off the chart when this happens. Very very high.

I am going to a doctor tomorrow I am wondering if he will know what this is or if there is something to take for it.
I am tired of being tired all day.

FROM: Mick
DATE: Sunday November 20, 2005 -- 11:36:24 am
I found this thread by putting explosions in my head in altavista.

I too have experienced explosions in my head on the point of falling to sleep, they wake me with real start and my hearts racing, they are real explosions even with reverb, massive explosions too.

As a side note: i also keep having strange spiritual experiences and visions, one in 1994 another in 1998 and again in 2003-2004 i also thought it maybe temporal lobe epilepsy but my eeg/ecg (whichever it was) came back clear

Any more info/links on this would be great if any1 has any, as i have my suspicions that johnny is messing with science he shouldn't be messing with. See below

Susyem of a down
Lyrics of Toxicity - -

Conversion, software version 7.0
looking at life through the eyes of a tired hub
eating seeds as a pastime activity
the toxicity of our city, of our city
Now, what do you own the world?
how do you own disorder, disorder
Now somewhere between the sacred silence
Sacred silence and sleep
somewhere, between the sacred silence and sleep
disorder, disorder, disorder
More wood for the fires, loud neighbours
flashlight reveries caught in the headlights of a truck
eating seeds as a pastime activity
the toxicity of our city, of our city

Now, what do you own the world?
how do you own disorder, disorder
Now somewhere between the sacred silence
Sacred silence and sleep
somewhere between the sacred silence and sleep
disorder, disorder, disorder
Now, what do you own the world?
how do you own disorder, disorder
Now somewhere between the sacred silence
Sacred silence and sleep
somewhere, between the sacred silence and sleep
disorder, disorder, disorder
When I became the sun
I shone life into the man's hearts
When I became the sun
I shone life into the man's hearts

FROM: Anna
DATE: Friday November 25, 2005 -- 12:09:05 pm
I also experiene exploding head syndrome, but it is always in the daytime. It comes without warning. I can be cleaning the house, grocery shopping, or at school teaching and then I get this indescribable bang, buzzing - it feels electrical - in my head. I have to hold my head until it stops which is in seconds. It is sometime followed by a severe headache, which I am prone to anyway. I have had it for at least l5 years , but it seems to be getting more frequent. The doctor thought it was a spasm of a blood vessel in my head.

FROM: A different Anna
DATE: Monday November 28, 2005 -- 10:45:11 am
Just found this, and like many here I'm glad I'm not going crazy(er). Or at least not on my own!

I have always had vivid scary dreams and often wake up, but the last 4 nights or so I've been woken up very early by the sound of gunshot/heavy football hitting the window/other weird loud sounds.

Hoping this will stop soon. Good luck everyone!

FROM: John
DATE: Saturday December 3, 2005 -- 1:43:43 am
Like others here, I figured this was unique to me. I don't really know how often it happens to me, monthly maybe? For me it's when I'm sound asleep, sometimes in a dream. It's a firecracker sound, although sometimes it's the doorbell sound! It freaks me enough to get up and check out the house and yard, heart racing. I do suffer a lot from anxiety, maybe it builds up subconsciously and POPs? I don't like it at all.

FROM: Tristan
DATE: Monday December 12, 2005 -- 1:57:26 am
Yes, I get the twang too. It's really horrible. When I get it it tends to keep happening for the rest of that night, every time I try and drop off to sleep.

I have found that listening to relaxing specialised music on the walkman helps.

No idea what causes it. Here in England I've heard them called "headshocks" as well. There's also another discussion here (a few years ago)

FROM: tess
DATE: Thursday December 15, 2005 -- 8:55:49 pm
last night i woke at 2 in the morn because i heard a loud explosion. i woke my husband up and said what was that? he said he didn't hear anything so i waited for my son to come in the room cause i was sure he heard it because it was so loud. he never did, and so i and fell back asleep but awoke in the morn with a teriible headache in the back of my head and upset stomach. i figure it was a migraine. but usually my migraines are in the front part of my head so i really dont know . but kinda worried me .

FROM: crystal
DATE: Wednesday December 28, 2005 -- 10:15:08 am
WOW! I have this every few months...and last night i was sleeping and while i was in the middle of a dream i heard this extreme loud BANG! sounded like someone was right there next to me and shot a gun right in my ear body had an instant reflex and it startled me i jumped....then i woke up......Scary but at least i know im not alone ....Geeeez these are scary .....

FROM: sheila
DATE: Friday December 30, 2005 -- 1:57:48 am
wow. amazing to know you are not alone. was always nervous to tell my doc i was "hearing things". lol. will hear my "gunshot or firecracker" usually when i am dozing off, but occasionally when i am wide awake. might be in periods of higher stress. hard to correllate events with them. mine come in little batches and then go away for months. i noticed them most when i was in nursing school. hoped it meant i was maybe firing up some new brain cells or synapses. lol. take care all.

FROM: surendipity
DATE: Monday January 2, 2006 -- 1:20:14 am
I would like to ask you EHS people a few questions.
I also have EHS but I think it's really amazing.

A few questions

Are you sensitive to the experience between the point of awakeness into

Have any of you experienced Shadowmen at anytime in your lives?
Shadowmen (dark blobs or dark figures)

Have any of you had surgery under a General Anesthetic prior to the EHS?

Have you had any General Anesthetic surgery in the past?

Are you open to paranormal believes or religious/spiritual believes?

Do they happen more in the middle of the month?

Are you aware of your surroundings during this bang, or do you have to come into reality and focus into an awakeness first?

Are you prone to insomnia?

FROM: Octavia
DATE: Friday January 6, 2006 -- 5:57:29 pm
I was looking at some of my old medical notes & realized I haven't had this happen in a long time. It happened several times back around 2000. Just as you described - an extremely loud bang, like a gunshot & waking up with my heart racing. Tooo scarey:( When I finally remember to mention it to my doc, I don't remember what she said. All I recall is she just kind of gave a sad shake to her head. For me, it seemed to happen when I was having really bad stuffy sinus infections.... Still curious about what this is, I Googled & found your page... Sorry it happens to you & to the others here.

FROM: Doug
DATE: Sunday January 8, 2006 -- 1:53:34 am
My first "explosion" sounded like a car crash. I jumped out of bed to check on the problem, only to find that there was nothing there. My neurologist decided I was having panic attacks. He prescribed elavil with the following results: (1) I still have the explosions 11 years later, and (2) I wound up with a number of negative side effects from the medicine, including vertigo and dizziness.

I tried to explain the problem to one of my sons, by suggesting the symptoms were like being hit with a cattle prod in the back of my head, with a resulting loud 'zap' sound, a flushing feeling through my head, and some pain ranging from a mild headache to actually hurting my teeth, and finally, a jerking reaction causing my body to tense up for a few seconds. It always happens during the twilight level of sleep (never in the day) and, like an earlier entry, happens when I am lying on my back but to a much less extent when lie on my sides. After my description, he mentioned that he had the same problem.

I am experiencing a tapering off of the incidents. The only thing I can point to is that I was informed as to the negative effects of aspartame, and can easily relate it to the fact that I was drinking 1 to 2 two liter containers of a diet cola of some sort starting back in the 1990's when I first starting experiencing EHS, and have recently stopped drinking the stuff.

Various doctors, indlucing those I spoke with at the Mayo Clinic in 1994, didn't have a clue when I tried to explain these symptoms to them. I'm glad I can finally call it by name.

DATE: Monday January 9, 2006 -- 6:40:04 pm
Oh yeah! All *THAT* and morrrrre! For as long as I can remember. I started doing the "BigBangThang" when I was just a little kid....I've had all that has been mentioned here...buzzing, electric shocks, loud bangs, gagage doors slamming, gunshots, car wrecks, lighting, little swirly spots of light, bright flashes, "fireflies"...and so much more! If you can name it..I've had it. Thank the Gods and Goddesses I am not alone.

Something I'd like to respond to:

FROM: surendipity
DATE: Monday January 2, 2006 -- 1:20:14 am
I would like to ask you EHS people a few questions.
I also have EHS but I think it's really amazing.

A few questions

Are you sensitive to the experience between the point of awakeness into
Yes I am...always have been...but I also have the experience in the middle of the night....and occasionally when awake.

Have any of you experienced Shadowmen at anytime in your lives?
Shadowmen (dark blobs or dark figures)
Just since forever....can't name a time that I haven't seen those.

Have any of you had surgery under a General Anesthetic prior to the EHS? Difficult to say...probably. I had my tonsils removed at age 3 under a general anesthetic and since I don't remember much prior to age three...I don't know which came first..the general anesthetic or the big bang thang. My mother has told me that I have ALWAYS, even as a newborn, gone to sleep and then just a little while later "startled/jumped" awake even though the house was quiet.

Have you had any General Anesthetic surgery in the past?

Are you open to paranormal believes or religious/spiritual believes? Yep....always have been. I've had these beliefs since I was a child; my mother says I started talking to and about this type stuff as soon as I could speak.

Do they happen more in the middle of the month?
Not really....I had an episode just last night. This stuff happens to me all the time.

Are you aware of your surroundings during this bang, or do you have to come into reality and focus into an awakeness first?
Depends. If it is early in my sleep cycle/soon after falling asleep: Yes, I am *USUALLY*; but not always, aware of my surroundings. If it occurs late(r) in my sleep cycle: No, not *USUALLY* and I have to come into "reality" and focus myself; but there are occasions when I am aware of my surroundings.

Are you prone to insomnia?
ROFL.....darlin' I have never known life WITHOUT insomnia. I would almost consider killing for a GOOD, RESTFUL, REFRESHING nights' sleep.

FROM: Judy
DATE: Tuesday January 10, 2006 -- 10:46:19 am
It's always a comfort to know you're not alone with something weird happening in your life. I have been experiencing explosions in my head since about 1989. I best describe it as a sonic boom. However, occasionally I am awakened by other weird sounds such as high pitched pings or high zzzzipp. Hard to describe.

Anyway, I have a comment for LiLi. During the delivery of my third child in 1986, I received an epidural injection into my spine. While the anesthesiologist was injecting more fluid, I suddenly experienced a terrifying sound akin to ambulance sirens in my head. I thought I was dying! When I looked at the doctor, nurses, my husband, and the monitor, of my vitals everyone and everything was appearing normal. I realized I was the only one hearing it. The next day when I told the anesthesiologist, he said he had never had anyone describe anything like that. Of course, when the explosions starteded, I wondered if there was any connection. I don't know if a doctor would care to comment on that.

Also, I'm curious to know if anyone who is experiecing EHS also has fibromyalgia, which is accompanied by a sleep disorder. I have also had that since about '91, so a lot of my sleep problems are weird. Thanks for taking the time to read this long post.

DATE: Wednesday January 11, 2006 -- 1:03:57 am
I have Fibromyalgia. I also have vestibular dysfunction and chronic vertigo (going on my fourth year of constant spinning). My vertigo/vestibular dysfunction started 4 years ago, my fibro was diagnosed 3 years ago though I've had symptoms most of my life and I've had the EHS all my life.

FROM: jen
DATE: Thursday January 12, 2006 -- 8:29:31 pm
I have not been woken up by a big BANG, but small things wake me up as I start to fall asleep either at night or it i wake up early in the morning and decide to go back to sleep. Does this have anything to do with EHS? Also for the past 2 weeks or so every so often I hear a beat, like a faint heart beat in my ears. Does anyone know what this is? I have been under a tremendous amount of stress for a few months now. Is all this just caused by stress?

FROM: jen
DATE: Thursday January 12, 2006 -- 8:34:27 pm
I have not been woken up by a big BANG, but small things wake me up as I start to fall asleep either at night or it i wake up early in the morning and decide to go back to sleep. Does this have anything to do with EHS? Also for the past 2 weeks or so every so often I hear a beat, like a faint heart beat in my ears. Does anyone know what this is? I have been under a tremendous amount of stress for a few months now. Is all this just caused by stress?

DATE: Friday January 13, 2006 -- 6:07:23 am
Jen, I have EHS, but also some of the things you mention. A radiator ticking as it cools is enough to trigger a hearing disturbance. I also have the beat in one ear which i put down to a jumping nerve somewhere, it has come and gone for a couple of years now. Stress is, i am sure, responsible for some of what goes on.
All the best

FROM: Nick
DATE: Friday January 13, 2006 -- 8:03:09 am
WOW..there was I thinking that I was 'special' with my 'buzzing head' ..and all along I was just one of many ;-)

I'm in the UK and I started having 'EH' way back in the 70's in my teens, but in the early 80's one of the worst experiences was standing in the family house upstairs on the landing, and all of a sudden it was like there was a 'ball lightining/explosion' outside the window a few feet away and my head buzzed with an 'electrical sound' but going from one ear to the other. I also remember feeling light headed and dropping forward, like I was going to faint, but I remained conscious. Everyone else was downstairs and quite oblivious of the 'loud bang' that went off outside..and since this was not a 'first' I did not spend too long worrying about it.

Since then I have had a few more episodes over the flashes of light but loud buzzing 'electrical' sounds always moving from one ear to the other ear and over in a few seconds, and very infrequent.. normally these occur as I am about to drop off to sleep.
I only drink moderately, and dont smoke, and that I am aware, I dont have any medical conditions, and certainly not on medication.

I am very spiritual and have certain 'psychic gifts' so maybe there is a connection here..?

It is a relief to know others 'suffer' with EH syndrome, but I really would like to know what is the underlying cause for this ..?

Brett (in the UK)

FROM: Exploding head from Canada
DATE: Monday January 16, 2006 -- 4:20:55 pm
like most of you, I too am VERY GLAD to see others experience the same thing. Happens just before falling asleep...loudest sound I ever heard. It always spooks me and I open my eyes. Happens rarely though. Does not really bother me, other than waking me up!

that's really all I have to say.

FROM: rene
DATE: Sunday January 22, 2006 -- 8:32:12 am
i too have heard a really loud bang just as i was floating of to sleep, i jumped up in bed asking my husband if he had heard it but he didn't hear a thing, it gave me one heck of a shock. its nice to know that there is a name for this condition.

FROM: celia from the uk
DATE: Tuesday January 31, 2006 -- 2:34:17 pm
I also have experienced these bangs and they started soon after i was diagnosed with positional vertigo and tinitus for which i have had for a year now and feel there must be a connection with the inner ear.Glad to know im not alone.

FROM: Why not
DATE: Tuesday January 31, 2006 -- 8:42:46 pm
Stumbled on this site been looking for the answer, i just had it today, for the first time. I have been under a ton of stress, dont really want to get into it all, but i was taking a nap and right on the border of sleep, it happened, a explosion of light and sound like a gun followed by a pleasant feeling in my spine and shoulders like when you crack your back. it didnt wake me up and i was subconsciously curious, as i let my thoughts float around, (now i dont recall what i was thinking about), but it happened again. my thoughts wandered and i tried to make it happen again and let them return to where they were and it happened a third time but less severe. by then i was worried i might be having a siezure or something, so i woke myself up. I was also wondering if it would be related to the sudden jerking of the body that i have experienced a couple times before on the brink of a nap. Just thought i might post in case this helped anyone

FROM: Shana from Texas
DATE: Saturday February 4, 2006 -- 12:42:12 pm
Whoo-hoo, I am not alone! I was starting to think I was developing a brain tumor or something.

Curious about one thing, though... someone a few posts back mentioned "shadow men" and I am intrigued. I've never heard of this, and I'm not sure I understand what she meant. Can anybody explain or describe this in more detail? Are we talking physical/sensory phenomenon or spiritual/paranormal thing?

Thanks, and my best to you all EHS-mates!

FROM: Severe Migraine Sufferer
DATE: Monday February 6, 2006 -- 12:02:10 pm
I came upon this site, while looking for something that explained what I was suffering from. I'm having a very loud, thunderous noise in my head that actually pushes my head over to one side. Does anyone else have that? Then it's over. I don't think I've ever heard a buzzing, electrical noise, or have seen a flash, but it's funny that I've always described it as being like lightning.

I suffer from severe migraine headaches, several times a week, and I've just started experiencing these noises. I was getting a little worried that I was developing something terrible in my brain. Glad. I think, to hear that I'm not alone here.

I don't seem to have the noise at a particular time of day or night, just anytime and often. But it's not scary. Just loud, and it seems as if others would hear it too, but they don't. I want to ask my neurologist about it next time I go in, but it seems as if y'all have had bad luck with that. No one has had anything show up on an MRI or any type of scan? Or has any clue what causes this?

My vision has been getting blury since I started having these, too. Anyone else? I take a lot of migraine medication, could that be it? To much medicine?

FROM: Brad
DATE: Monday February 6, 2006 -- 12:20:10 pm
I've had 3 of these now, and they've started within the last year or so. I'm 28, never smoked, drink occasionally, don't take medicatioin, and don't think I have alot of stress. I just had one last night, the best way for me to describe it is a 5 second buzz. It starts out quiet and goes right to a loud buzz. Electrical Buzz is the best description. Very strange, but kind of cool if you ask me.....I must be weird. Just nice to know i'm not the only one.

FROM: L K Tucker [E-Mail]
DATE: Sunday February 12, 2006 -- 12:21:23 am
After reading most of the posts what you are describing sounds like hallucinations and hearing voices.

Hearing voices includes sounds, rushing water, clicks, pops, a buzz that seems to vibrate your head, and of course actual voices.

Hallucinations can be physical symptoms as well as visual or auditory sensations.

You may be exposed to low but significant levels of visual Subliminal Distraction.

Visit the Panic attacks page at VisionAndPsychosis.Net. There are no illustrations on that page but the Space Station page uses NASA photos to illustrate the phenomenon.

Be sure to perform the psychology experiment on the Demonstration page.

If you succeed in finding exposure and stop the events email me your results. You can reach me by finding and clicking an email link to Researcher on the site.

FROM: bob
DATE: Sunday February 12, 2006 -- 6:53:01 am
I used to do this experiment with my students when i taught psychology.
It is programmed into us for our own safety. Movement seen out of the corner of your eye could be something coming to attack you and so should attract your attention!!
You can't see colour either in peripheral vision.

FROM: Lucy
DATE: Sunday February 12, 2006 -- 12:24:08 pm
I, too, get the shotgun blast just before going to sleep. Sure glad i found this site because i thought nobody in the world had this happen but me. I also have something strange just before going to sleep. When i close my eyes i see vivid color pictures changing like on tv screen...sometimes they are monster looking, other times peoples faces i don't recognize and sometimes a conglamourate of letters and numbers....really weird. Anyone else have this experience?

FROM: Peter
DATE: Sunday February 12, 2006 -- 6:21:49 pm
Like others, i've just discovered a name to something I thought only i had. It's very reassuring.

Mine takes two forms, a large crash or gunshot as others described and always as i doze off or just asleep. It mainly wakes me up with a bit of a racing heart but doesn't really bother me - in fact i quite like it. More disturbingly is when I can't wake up from it and it is accompanied by a feeling of being unable to breath with rapid heart rate and quite vivid dreams or sense of paralysis. Generally (it feels) like some minutes before i can regain full conscienceness which leaves me feeling a bit panicy. I generally have to get up for a bit to allow the feeling to subside before trying to sleep again.

I've had this for about 12 years off and on but never linked it to any external factor, i'll have to check it out. I imagine stress and disturbed sleep patterns to be the root.

FROM: Cory
DATE: Tuesday February 21, 2006 -- 11:08:35 pm
Wow, yes, last night as I was drifting off and then *BAM!* but you know, I'm used to it now so it's not scary since I know it only lasts a fraction of a second and it doesn't hurt. I told my girlfriend about it, saying "It feels like someone just bashed my forehead right between the eyes with a hammer, but it didn't hurt." If you look up Exploding Head Syndrome in Wikipedia is says that sometimes people who spend time meditating or contemplating, getting themselves into deeper mental states, often experience "Kundalini Symptoms," which is named after the Yogic ideas about chakras and a "coiled serpent" of energy along the spine and some other incredibly fascinating stuff. So I was wondering if any of you have a unique spiritual bent, or maybe have put yourself into trancelike states before.

DATE: Wednesday February 22, 2006 -- 2:35:09 pm
I beleive this is caused by Anti-Depressants. Not so much the use of them, more the discontinuation of them.
Also some food additives, so if you've started eating a particular type of food I would sugest you stop. If you've stopped eating a particular food perhaps you should resume your consumption.

FROM: Angie
DATE: Monday February 27, 2006 -- 2:21:41 pm
Hi, I was just napping about 2 hours ago and got the loud bang again. It just started happening to me about 2 months ago after having my second baby, she is now 4 months, the bangs happen almost daily, sometimes a few times a day. She has been feeding every 2-4 hours constant, and I never got a full nights sleep in over 4 months! Most of my days are spent utterly exhaused and in lombo land as I call it, cause I am so tired I get electrical zaps in my head and I can not think or even do anything more than light cleaning around the house. At one point I had 2 weeks straigt of what seemed to be vertigo, I was to dizzy to walk, I was constanly laying down, but had to take care of the kids so I sill couldn't get any sleep. When this happened, I would get tunnel vision and black out, after wards I would have facial pain. It got alot worse for me when I started taking Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oils, I thought I was having a stroke! The fats in Oils play a big role in our brains, and even though Coconut Oil is supposed to be the best food on earth, it seems to amplify my problem. I am 30 years old, I don't drink alchol, don't smoke, don't drink caffine, and always avoid medications because I am very health concious. I delivered my second baby all natural, no meds, so there was no link with meds causing the bangs in my head. Before having my babies I was a Bodybilding Athlete with only %11 body fat, and was having the best sleep ever. I have just started working out again and notticed that It happens less when I workout, but you have to watch for over exhaustion because that is what's causing it, but the benifit is that exercise reduces stress. So I only workout when my body says it's ok that day. The only advice I have for people experiencing this, is take time for yourself, and even though you may think you are not stressed, these attacks are happening for a reason. The frist step to getting rid of stress is to acknowledge that you have it. Hope this helps. Take care.

FROM: Bransonbuff
DATE: Monday February 27, 2006 -- 5:51:08 pm
About the "big bang inside the head". Been there. Done that. This "exploding head syndrome" scares the crap out of me. It has happened several times over the years. When sound asleep, there will be a sound as if someone has fired a 12-guage shotgun right by my ears, or inside my head. Instantly I'm wide awake, looking around the bedroom for the culprit. There's no pain, but there's the same ringing-in-the-ears sensation right after the "big bang" that one has when a firecracker goes off nearby, or someone fires a gun nearby. It's a distinctive "BANG!". Instantaneous. Loud. I'm glad to know it's a natural occurrence and that others have experienced the same neurological phenomenon.

FROM: julie
DATE: Wednesday March 1, 2006 -- 4:32:05 pm
check out this page I think it kinda explains things

DATE: Tuesday March 7, 2006 -- 12:23:51 am
Well im 35 and have multiple sclerosis. Im not sure if i have EHS i get this all night everynight. i have not slept in days. I will be awake laying in bed or sitting or even standing and as soon as i put my head down i get a small shock on the sides of my face. If i dont move my head i will get a hugeeee loud sound then a shock from head to toe. If im sitting straight up but very relaxed and there is so much as a creak in the house i get the shocks only. I do not even sleep from this im up all night or sleep maybe 1 hour. Its very hard on me because i also work full time and i goto work on no sleep. I have a mri and a cat scan. I went to a ent for this and i call it a swooshing noise. If you put a stethascope up to my ear you can hear my ringing. I have had tinnitus for many years so the ringing does not bother me but the swooshing noise is literally giving me a nervous breakdown. I cant even sleep sitting up or with the fan on or tv or radio it does not matter i still get the swooshing. Since this occurs all the time and not just at night while sleeping im not sure if thats what i do have. The ent said with ms i prob have nerve damage in my ear she has seen it before where people have swooshing sounds in their ears with ms. But hey who knows i will for sure bring this up to my doc. Its great to find a site with this info too.

FROM: sarah
DATE: Wednesday March 8, 2006 -- 5:37:59 am
-electrical zapps, pops, bangs, squeeks etc.
- first time it happened i described it as sticking my head out of car window, flap flap of wind in ears. likened to some hard Mine can really hurt sometimes. my ear drum was sore the day afer.

- i link it to stress, drug abuse, tance dance states... but also spiritual. I thought it was quite special

-linked it to lucid dreaming, out of body, sleep paralysis, sleep seizures?? (wierd unable to move or shock self awake.)

-happens more frequently when in zone between awake and asleep. Transition noises. noises marking entering another level of consiousness, whether that is plain dreaming, or lucid.

-shadow forms!...are they like intuder dreams- sort of lucid, think you awake, somone in room, have to shock self awake.

- found a site that said descriptions of near death experiences with the light and tunnel have mentioned similar noises. also people like shamans and people who meditate describe lights and noises but are able to control these kundaini experiences wheras people that dont meditate (me) have less control.

- i have psoriasis. linked to adrenal glands over working. high metaolism. but i do have very low blood pressure. I changed whole diet- no wheat, dairy, stimulants etc...only use organic etc...less frequent since the change.

i have enjoyed these experiences- novelty, excitement and mystery. Although sometimes have worried, lke you that something may be worng- y body trying to tell me somethng....
im a little concerned that no one else mentions that it is painful in the ears. well yes mentioned headaches. but not the actual ear hurting from making the sound.

maybe we are lucky and are more senstive to the 'matrix'- therefore have to deal with the odd bit of noise. a crazy witch told me that the noises were onl the begining...of journeying into controlling lucid dreaming and astral projection.......

hope this adds a few points to the discussion
so pleased to have found it!

FROM: call me Ruggy
DATE: Friday March 10, 2006 -- 2:24:42 am
Wow I just found this discussion tonight and learned the name for what I've been experiencing occasionally since I was a a very young child. Good to know I'm not alone, I guess!!

I'm 42 now and it's maybe happened about 20+ times in all... so it doesn't happen to me very often.

But I've experienced it in two or perhaps three different ways.

The "BANG" sounds like I'm in a plexiglass phone booth while somebody clobbers the outside with a baseball bat. It jolts me immediately into a wakeful state. I recall sometimes waking with a rapid pulse and thinking to myself, "Oh, that again! How annoying." And then I am able to get relaxed and go back to sleep. Sometimes I have been vaguely aware of a buildup of tension just a few seconds prior to the "BANG!"

In another form of the experinence, the "BUZZ" I've gotten is like an electric zap. It feels like someone is using a cardiac defibrillator on my head. Except, this model delivers AC shocks so it sounds more like a loud buzz. The "Tesla Coil" and "Cattle Prod" descriptions used by others also sounds very close to my experience of it. When it happens, it lasts from maybe a quarter of a second, to one second at the most. (Although it's difficult to judge the time objectively and with such retrospect.) One time I remember actually sensing the BUZZ beginning to happen, and I was able to intentionally dodge it, and avoid it for a brief time (several seconds to a minute) and then it felt as if it somehow tracked me down, followed me and caught me and then I felt the inevitable zap. (When I was a child and this happened, I pondered that maybe aliens or beings from the future had developed some kind of mind ray that could grab onto my consciousness and steal a sample of it. [Got a better explanation? Let's hear it.]) The BUZZ completely consumes my thoughts - it "becomes" my thoughts for that brief instant, and my limbs may even jerk at that point.

The "TWINGE" is a new experience for me recently, and it may or may not be related. I did not include these "twinges" in my estimation of 20+ total episodes above. AFAIK, I have only experienced this while wide awake. It feels very much like the BUZZ, except it is weaker and extremely, extremely brief (maybe lasting a tenth of a second) and has no accompanying sound. It feels like an electrically-stimulated muscle twitch from a TENS unit except one which seemingly occurs inside my skull. I think it may be related to EHS because it feels similar and when it happens, it directly derails my thought processes in a similar way. This happened about a dozen times tonight, separated by minutes or seconds, after which it subsided. I first felt it tonight while chewing a stalk of celery. Very disconcerting!

To answer some other questions, (also in case some researcher decides to study this someday) yes I am sensitive to experiences between the waking & sleeping states.. although if they're unremarkable I'll usually forget them along with my REM dreams.

I have experienced Dj Vu probably over a hundred times in my life. What's puzzling is that a friend of mine experiences Dj Vu only when he is in my presence. So perhaps some mindsets are contagious.

I have infrequently experienced "shadow people" off and on since childhood. But I had the most amazing experiences of this as an adult, while on vacation in Iceland, and these culimated in the experience of making direct, penetrating eye contact with one.

I've never had surgery, nor any general anesthesia. HOWEVER I did have a close incounter with death at about age 4 as a result of asthma, during which I was unconscious for some time. I still remember the entire experience vividly, except for the time spent unconscious. So this was not the classic "Near Death Experience" with visions of light or anything like that... or at least not that I've ever recalled.

While I'm on this paranormal tangent I'll mention that I experienced the beginning of a true Spiritual Awakening in 1987, a time which coincided with practicing some self-styled Chi Kung and also a Vipassana-like form of Meditation, as taught by the Gurdjieff Foundation (who refer to the technique as "The Sitting.") Though I've never formally practiced Yoga, I think have a sense for what Kundalini is. I definitely know what Chi, or Qi is. During my search for truth, I also looked into the local pagan community, and became familiar with that side of things as well. I have not been living a strongly spiritual life for years, I will say. From 1987 up until about 2 months ago, I experienced psi phenomena on nearly a daily basis. Now I feel nearly nothing "there."

People have described me as intense, introspective, intuitive, creative, and even brilliant. But I'm very far from perfect. Two months ago I started getting some really strange symptoms which include dizziness, paresthesias, clumsiness, headaches and also the "twinges" mentioned above. My new house turned out to be very high in EMF so I'm working on reducing it. My current theory of what happened to me that I maybe had one isolated episode of reactive hypoglycemia two months ago which scared the pants off me (thought I was gonna die), and resulted in several weeks of anxiety, complete with anxiety attacks and panic attacks... which are also very new experences for me. It's been rough.

And now I'm getting these "twinges." To someone sensitive to his body and is accustomed to understanding things, it's been a pretty disorienting 2 months for me. I've had a CT/MRI/MRA/EKG and other tests which were all normal. 8 doctors and 5 kilobucks later, still no diagnosis. My current medical search using Google is what led me to this site, actually. Then I found the Wiki page. I didn't expect to find any reference to this experience at all.

Well, at least now I can have some revenge by telling my neurologist that along with whatever else is up with me, I also have a history of "Exploding head Syndrome."

Man, I love the ring of that. It really makes me smile!


DATE: Monday March 13, 2006 -- 4:49:58 pm
Like so many of you have reiterated, it is a relief to know that these things happen to other people. I told my doc after the second time it happened when I was 20 and I got the impression she thought I was making it up. Gael's description (July 2005) of different types of noises is most accurate to my experiences. Sometimes there is no noise at all but I ALWAYS feel like I'm getting electrocuted, usually starting in my head and working down to my feet. Other times it was like the stun gun in the least favorite episode. I didn't even realize that the auditory component was the most well documented feature, but now I can think back to several episodes where there was clanging, whooshing, sounds like blood running past my ear, whooping, bangs or even one time that I thought a car drove right through the bedroom wall. My mom was visiting and didn't hear a peep. I have since reconsidered this episode as EHS. I have not seen any 'shadowpeople'...thank god...that would scare the crap out of me.
My bio is ex-smoker, no surgeries, no drugs, 1-2 cups a coffee/day before 2 pm, moderate drinker and have only recently begun taking medicine for a hormone disorder, but it hasn't altered the frequency of the attacks. I am in a Genetics PhD program and have access to some medical journals, thus I found this brief review thats written for the layman in Headache, vol. 41 pp. 602-603, year 2001 that MAY be accessible to non-university individuals.
Please respond if anyone knows of a current study on EHS that is looking for participants. Thank you and nice to know we're not alone!

FROM: major
DATE: Thursday March 16, 2006 -- 12:28:00 am
My mother is experiencing the same.GR8 that it is not a serious illness.

FROM: Maja
DATE: Thursday March 16, 2006 -- 4:42:26 am

Good to know that I am not alone :)

Excuse my terrible English, I am not from a English-speaking country.

The first time I experienced EHS was in 1990, and I was 20 years old.
It was terrible and still are.
A loud bzzz-like or svosj- like sound in my head and it feels like my head are getting electrocuted. I can somtimes feel it in my hole body.
Sometimes I can't go to sleep again because it will happen over and over again.
I can sometimes when I am very tierd, hear a weaker repetly sound after I have left the bed, followed by a tickeling in my body. Like weak electrical power.

FROM: pete
DATE: Thursday March 16, 2006 -- 11:46:56 am
I've died hundreds if not thousands of times because of ehs. Years ago my mother died suddenly of a stroke. With every ehs episode I have, i think i too am dying. Obviously it is extremely stressful to try to go back to sleep after feeling the shocking pain in the head and hearing the loud bang. It is almost as if the ehs feeds upon itself. There is a connection to anxiety, stress and fatigue.
I hate to feel like I will be living with this the rest of my life as I am still relatively young. All I want is a peaceful nights sleep.

FROM: Nancy
DATE: Thursday March 16, 2006 -- 4:12:51 pm
Wow! I'll say it again, "I't's comforting to know that I'm not alone."

It's been awhile since I've experienced EHS but I remember the first it time it happened. It was several years ago and I had just dozed off for the night and suddenly awoke with a jolting the bed was moving. I thought it was an earthquake. There was no earthquake....

Some years back I used acupuncture/herbs extensively for a viral treatment and I wonder if that may have something to do with it....the Qi ????

DATE: Thursday March 16, 2006 -- 6:57:52 pm
Hi again. I'm putting together a composition of EHS, or Exploding Head Syndrome based on comments in peer-reviewed scientfic journals (see references below) and comments posted in this bulletin (which are the most helpful since some of the science journals may as well be in whale-talk for all I know). When I first used the internet to explore my EHS experiences, I thought it was a dream so I was looking in the wrong places. It only recently occured to me that it could be a sleep disorder rather than a dream.

According to the aformentioned review by JMS Pearce (whom also coined 'Exploding Head Syndrome'; RW Evans and JMS Pearce, Headache 2001; vol. 41: pp. 602-603), symptoms that may be EHS were published in 1890 by Weir Mitchel in the International Journal of Medical Science (vol. 100: pp. 109-127) as a feeling of 'sensory shocks'.

Exploding Head Syndrome:

-Is physiological rather than psychological or a dream.

-Can occur at any age, though apparently is most common in those over 50 (as reported in Cohen and Kaube, Current Opinion in Neurology, 2004 vo. 17: pp295-299). I get the feeling that this isn't well documented, probably because it sounds crazy.

-Occurs in a slightly higher frequency in males than females (2:3 ratio; Cohen and Kaube).

-Is transient in both duration (how long the episode occurs) and frequency (how often individuals experience attacks), though weekly and nightly occurences must be rare.

-May occur more frequently during stress or overtired and overworked (Pearce), after consuming caffeinated beaverages, or on certain medications (caffeine and medications reported by you guys in the 'ping'), though the latter items have not been published in peer review. Somebody (either here or reported having EHS while on vacation...I did too!

-There may be a sleep position that induces it more than not. Some of you said it's more often when you are on your back, but this could be an individual comfort level.

-May occur during any stage/phase of REM, but usually occurs as the body is falling asleep or awaking (Cohen and Kaube; Evans and Pearce).

-Can manifest as a loud noise that sounds like a shotgun bang, loud bang, explosion, electrical 'tesla coil-sound', whooshing, metal name it.

-May be accompanied by 'flickering lights', though is reportedly rare in only 10% of reported instances (see Cohen and Kaube).

-May manifest as electrical sensations in head, body or both with or without the 'bang' or other auditory noise. Physical movements may result from these types of feelings, though lets not confuse this with the old 'I'm about to fall asleep and then I'm jolted awake'. That's something else and NOT EHS.

-Are NOT caused by lesion in the brain, epilepsy, seizures, or other conditions. One report on 9 individuals monitored using EEG said 5 out of 9 had an epsiode when monitored and all showed increased alertness and were considered awake at the time of the episode. This tells me that it's a bunch of poppy-cock. I would probably have to spend a whole year in a sleep lab before I actually had an episode. 5 out of 9? COME-ON! those people must have been faking it.

-Are considered 'harmless' (Evans and Pearce; Cohen and Kaube), though frightening and may cause heart palpitations (in other words, you feel freaked out by it).

-Is speculated to be caused by a delay in the switch from "motor, sensory, visual, and auditory parts of the cerebral hemispheres" (Evans and Pearce) as we pass from wakefulness to sleep and vice versa.

-Does not cause your head to explode. Duh.

-Can be ameliorated by the knowledge that EHS is harmless.

-There are no peer-reviewd reports to my knowledge that EMS is caused by surgical anestesia, drug abuse, spirits, ghosts, shadowmen but lots of you have pulled together some, uh, ideas.

Hey guys, just keep it coming with your EHS stories, thoughts, and theories. It's both interesting and comforting! I think it would be fun and interesting if somebody would put together an online questionierre about EHS such as current age, gender, age of onset, medications, frequency, duration, symptoms (types of noises, sensations), sleep position, whether it happens when you're falling asleep or awake etc. It would probably be the most comprehensive study to date on EHS!

FROM: Maja
DATE: Thursday March 16, 2006 -- 8:43:16 pm
Eek wrote:
I think it would be fun and interesting if somebody would put together an online questionierre about EHS such as current age, gender, age of onset, medications, frequency, duration, symptoms (types of noises, sensations), sleep position, whether it happens when you're falling asleep or awake etc. It would probably be the most comprehensive study to date on EHS!


That's a very good idea!

I have asked in forums, I have asked norwegian online-doctors about EHS, and I have read everything I could find about EHS on the internet.
Few answers, and a lot of crap.
So I belive this site are the best EHS-site on the net.

FROM: Paul
DATE: Thursday March 16, 2006 -- 8:51:39 pm
So I belive this site are the best EHS-site on the net.

That is really impressive.

The Daily Ping: Your Exploding Head Resource.

FROM: Nancy
DATE: Friday March 17, 2006 -- 11:03:56 am
Come to think of it the very first time it (EHS) happened was about 20 years ago right after a head injury (nothing serious...or so I thought). I woke up to a loud "bang". This I have experienced about 4 times since...but the jolting around while in bed like an earthquake is another type of sensation.... Also once one of the episodes felt like an "electrical" sensation throughout. All of this has happened while I was in a light slumber just after retiring for the evening.

To Lili, I too have had vertigo but that was many years ago and lasted for about 4 months. It went away after a chiro adjustment..(?)...Occasionally I experience episodes of vertigo but it's only momentary....

FROM: Steve
DATE: Saturday March 18, 2006 -- 7:39:38 pm
I get this occasionally but it used to happen more often.

The loud bang and the almost simontanious flash of light , but in fact I think the flash of light occurs a split second after the bang.

When it happened more often I learned to try and disregard the asscociated fear and electrical impulse and listen to the bang and look at the light.

The bang is indeed like a gun going off inside the head.
The flash of light is more like a white sheet.

It all happens in an instant and can be quite scarey.

The last time it happened was a few weeks ago, a bit different then, instead of a white sheet of light, I experienced what can only be described as fork-lightning......just like looking into the black night sky and a sudden flash of fork-lightning.

I suppose doctors dont know everything, if they did there'd be nothing left for them to learn.

Anyway it's a weird thing and the silly name of it doesn't help people to take it seriously.

FROM: Carldene
DATE: Tuesday March 21, 2006 -- 3:35:24 am
It has a name! Odd that I found this. It was in a link in an email. I've told my husband about this for years, and he thinks I'm just having a dream where there's a loud bang. Here's what I experience...The loud bang to me sounds like someone slamming a door, but it's definitely in my head. I've also experienced the "electrical" sound in my ear, but I never put it together with the bang. I sometimes hear this same sound when awake. To me, the sound has always seemed like a cricket chirping inside my ear. I really just ignore all of this. I'll certainly pay more attention in the future. Don't recall a bright light flash, but will be more aware in future incidents. There's no pain associated with this, and I haven't noticed gasping for breath.

I wonder if this is more common than the information on the web says it is? I ask because a couple of days ago I spoke with my niece, and she says the same thing happens to her. Or maybe it's hereditary?

As far as my personal information:
I've had general anesthesia once, about 30 years ago.
I only drink caffeine when I go to a restaurant.
I don't think of myself as sleep-deprived, or particularly stressed.
I did find out a few months ago that I have high blood pressure.
I've only had about 20-30 of these incidents over the years.
Can't say when they started.
I had encephalitis 2 years running when I was in my teens.
I wake up numerous times (sometimes 10-20) during the night.
I've had insomnia before, but not in probably 20 years.
I fall asleep quickly at night. In fact, my husband is quite jealous. We're just the opposite. It takes him a long time to fall asleep, but he sleeps like a log. I can fall asleep on a dime, but I wake up tons of times. I used to attribute this to the fact that when I was in my teens, I was in an apartment fire that occurred during the night, and I thought it was paranoia linked to that.
I've been taking over-the-counter generic Tylenol PM to try to get a more uninterupted sleep, and it seems to help.

FROM: Marjorie
DATE: Friday March 24, 2006 -- 5:24:31 pm
Look up exploding head syndrome. It happened to me in my waking hours. Though it was an anomaly special to me. Turns out it is not.

FROM: Urban
DATE: Sunday March 26, 2006 -- 2:21:34 am
I have had the experience of the loud bang inside (or outside) my head since I was a teenager. I am in my forty's now. It does happen durring a light sleep but it also happens when I am fully awake. It happens to me infrequently enough that when it does happen and I'm driving I check my car for cracked windows or dents. However, every time the bang has that odd characteristic of being inside and outside there has never been evidence of something striking the car or of an actual noise (e.g. birds did not take flight, Kitty did not look up, alerted, etc...). I wonder about a psychic connection since I heard that a bang (or two) often accompanies the leaving of a spirit (see the true story of the exorcist also other stories of posession and demonic spirits). I don't know how much stock I put in that. Any thoughts would be welcome. It does not seem to be related to physical problems. I have a normal neuro profile, some digestive problmes but do not notice more at one time than another (so far as I have observed). Thanks

FROM: eek
DATE: Sunday March 26, 2006 -- 12:56:58 pm
Urban, please see my extended thoughts and research on EHS above (Th March 16th). I haven't come across much about it happening during daylight hours when one is obviously awake. I once thought that happened to me when I was milling around my apartment, but that evening there was a news clip about a plane breaking the sound barrier over Lake Ontario and a bunch of people called the police thinking it was something more frightening.
My mom keeps offering spiritual explanations but being a scientist, I'm more drawn to the physiology of EHS, not that I'm dismissing alternative explanations. Just be thankful it isn't harmfull. At least it may be interesting to discuss at a cocktail party...but I wouldn't if it invovled co-workers. Just sounds too weird!

FROM: liz
DATE: Sunday March 26, 2006 -- 10:35:35 pm
I have been experiancing EHS for some years now and was very relieve when I found this site and discovered so many others get the same.
My theory is that new areas of the brain are being born, like a mini Big Bang, and since I'm smarter now than ever :-) just a thought..........

FROM: head case
DATE: Monday March 27, 2006 -- 8:04:30 am
mini-electrical explosions. white sheet good analysis. cars wrecking, gunshots outside window, door slamming, crash inside house, all these things for 10 years. Thanks for the others have headaches not associated with the experience?

FROM: Steve
DATE: Monday March 27, 2006 -- 9:06:29 am
I know this feeling all too well. I have lived with this since I was a small child. Lying in bed and only just beginning to drift off, a very loud buzz would startle me. I can only describe this as the sound of an electric drill inside my head accompanied by what feels like an electric shock inside my head. This would most often repeat itself as multiple instances. In such cases, I would become distressed and occasional get out of bed too afraid to try and sleep. The sound and feeling is horrible.

In addition, people and objects would either shrink into the distance (accompanied by all sounds becoming very soft), or sometimes objects would appear to be incredibly large (accompanied by all sounds being loud and invasive).

My life has been filled with unexplained phenomena and experiences that became 'normal' to me. These included incredibly accurate premonitions/visions, healing, readings for some friends (have never been interested in using such 'gifts' for monetary gain), seeing auras, major poltergeist activity and one banshee experience (I performed the exorcism ritual).

I am now 44 (at the time of writing this note). Most of these experiences stopped suddenly and inexplicably during the early 90s.
Some 'buzzing' has occurred infrequently and I have started again to have very mild cases of ESP.
I have never taken medication nor been treated for Temporal Lobe Epilepsy.
I suffer depression and have been on meds for this since 1997.

What do I make of it? I dunno

DATE: Monday March 27, 2006 -- 12:24:16 pm

DATE: Sunday April 2, 2006 -- 4:36:49 am
I am 30 yrs old and I had my first episode of EHS 2 weeks ago and it freaked me out. It sounded like a bomb went off in my head and I thought I had gone deaf because it also sounded like my eardrums exploded. I think I saw a flash of bright light as well. I've had a total of 3 episodes so far and it's always right before I'm about to fall asleep. I always go to sleep on my back. I have been under moderate stress and fatigue lately so maybe it is related... I was really glad to read these postings and to know there is a name for this thing, weird as it is. I can only hope there will be more research on the causes of EHS and how to prevent it.

Other than the EHS I've had vertigo a few times which also scared the crap out of me and it happened when I jerked my head suddenly, but I haven't had that for over a year. Also, I get this very odd thumping sound in one of my ears, and the strange part is, being around certain people trigger it almost every time ... I did have some frequent eye-lid twitching around the same time as the EHS episodes. Maybe it's related.

FROM: Tinnadmin
DATE: Tuesday April 4, 2006 -- 8:43:49 pm
I've had this condition for about a year and a half. It's a neurological syndrome, nothing to do with spirits or the occult. My symptoms are related to lying down and relaxing. They occur before I fall asleep, not afterward; sometimes I've also had brief, sudden ear noises in the morning before rising. Often I have two or three mild episodes in the same night.

The reported rapid heartbeat is probably a fear reaction rather than part of the syndrome proper. I can imagine that the noises and lights would be scary if you didn't know what they were.

For those who described ear noises: If you hear your pulse in your ears, you have pulsatile tinnitus. If you hear crickets where there aren't any, you have another kind of tinnitus. Spasms of the stapedial muscle in the middle ear can cause snapping or banging sounds. Anyone who wants answers about ear noise is welcome at the Tinnitus Support Message Board, an ezboard support forum. You can find it easily by typing "tinnitus support" into Google.

FROM: Marty
DATE: Wednesday April 5, 2006 -- 12:58:26 am
I'm 35 yrs. old and I've had this, on and off, for years. It started when I was a kid. It never scared me, or made me wonder about my sanity, or suspect ghosts, because I could always tell that it was inside my head and it sort of felt similiar to the occasional leg twitch I get while falling asleep--some sort of brain fart or neurological twitch. However, it's startling when it happens because I never expect it and it is always unpleasant, especially when it repeats two or three times the same night.

I read about Exploding Head years ago, a brief mention in a book about sleep function, and I immediately recognized it. It's unmistakable if it's ever happened to you. For me, it always happens as I'm falling asleep and the best way I've found to describe it is that-- it's like something suddenly and without warning yanks the volume knob on my thoughts to Glass-shattering Maximum for one split second. If a noise that loud happened outside my head, it would make my ears hurt; but since it's just in my head, there's no pain or discomfort at all. Just that really unpleasant moment of "explosion" and startlement.

Some doctors suspect that stress and tension play a part in the syndrome. I've also read that some doctors suspect that it may be related to a sudden movement of fluid or similiar disturbance in the middle ear. As I also suffer motion sickness, this theory is interesting to me and I hope someday they'll study whether this is a possible correlation.

FROM: Marty
DATE: Wednesday April 5, 2006 -- 2:37:43 am

Sometimes I do experience a flash of light with EHS, but the sound effects are always predominant for. I have never experienced EHS in deep sleep; have never been woken out of a sound sleep by it. I've never had it happen when I was fully awake during the day.

I've never taken anti-depressants or sleeping pills. I've never used hallucinogenics or any other type of illegal drug. I rarely drink alcohol (one or two drinks per YEAR is about my limit.) I don't smoke. I do drink iced tea on a daily basis, but I've had EHS since long before I was a regular caffeine consumer (i.e., since I was a young child.)

I do not have any illness, chronic or accute. I have never had surgery. I have never spent a day in a hospital since I was born. I have never experienced "shadow forms" or sleep paralysis.

It usually takes me twenty minutes to half an hour to fall into a complete sleep state. I occasionally have insomnia, usually when I am under stress but I can't remember experiencing EHS when I've had these rare episodes of sleeplessness.

I have had only one genuine migraine headache in my life and that was due entirely to fatigue. However, I do have sinus headaches now and then, and, as stated above, I'm a victim (there's no other name for it) of motion sickness and I have been all my life.

FROM: Nickleen
DATE: Friday April 7, 2006 -- 6:14:23 pm
Wow! My friend thinks that I am crazy. Finally I have found that there are others that have this. Let me tell you, the noise is tremendously loud, like a giant thick slab of steel falling over. It scares me so much sometimes that I can't get back to sleep for hours. It is usually brought on when I am really tired and have a cup of coffee before bed. My doctor had never heard of this syndrome before and my friend suggested that they were tiny anyurisms. That scared me even more. I was so happy when I found that this does exist and that it isn't dangerous. Sometimes the noise is quieter and I can hear my name being called out very sharply, like a warning. Usually when that happens, I freak out and run upstairs to check on my kids.

DATE: Friday April 7, 2006 -- 6:51:47 pm
I get that but its worse when it happens more than once in a night, with me its like someone suddenly screams or shouts right in my ear and afterwards I'm nervous to sleep again in case it happens.

FROM: Kevin
DATE: Tuesday April 11, 2006 -- 1:59:01 pm
Wow. Like many of you, I've thought this was something unique to myself. I've mentioned it to people over the years and nobody has ever said they experience it too. I can't believe I never thought to do a search on the internet. I've been feeling light headed recently, which prompted the search that lead me to this site. Thank God I did! It's so nice to know I'm not going to fall over dead from this... which is what I was convinced would happen to me one day, LOL. What a relief to find out that it happens to others, and it's not going to kill me.

Love the name btw, can't wait to tell people I have Exploding Head Syndrome, LOL.

For those of you who are gathering data about EHS...

I've had it happen for as long as I can remember, but more frequently as an adult. It doesn't happen with any regularity. I've went months and not had it occur, then had it happen several times in one week. It's always the same though... like a VERY loud gunshot or a lightning bolt going off in my head (sometimes I could swear it feels like an electrical shock), just as I'm drifting off to sleep. I've never had it occur during the day while awake, nor during deep sleep. I know that sometimes there is a flash of light, but I'm not sure if it happens everytime. I've also felt a brief, thud-like sensation, but I have to wonder if this is imagined... since I'm waking up to what sounds like a gunshot to my head. As you all know, it's a terrifying way to wake up, and the noise is what gets most of my attention, so the details are a little sketchy.

Also, I've suffered from insomnia all my life, even as a child. I currently take several medications, including Lunesta for the insomnia, but the EHS began long before I ever took meds on a regular basis. Stats... male, 39.

And... THANK YOU for creating this site! It is such a relief to finally know what the "big bang in my head" is all about :)

FROM: Fiona
DATE: Tuesday April 11, 2006 -- 2:12:34 pm
Wow seems this is not such a rare condition after all. Look at all the responses!

I started getting this about a year ago and put it down to the massive amount of psychedelic drugs I took when I was a kid. I thought it was the inevitable deterioration of my brain, that I would eventually go crazy and I should just lump it because I brought it on myself. Thank goodness this is not the case and my irresponsible youth has not, as yet, caused any serious ramifications.

For me it usually sounds like a loud pop, I have had the crackling lighting sound too. I get it mostly when I just drop off to sleep but I have heard strange noises during the day too. For example a really loud door bell sound like a "ding dong" while I was walking down a busy high street. My boyfriend didn't hear a thing and we both thought I was going a bit mental for a bit. I don't get any of the bright flashes most other people describe though.

Luckily after a while it calmed down, probably because my life isnt a stressful as it was. I still get it from time to time but pretty rarely. Its nice to know I'm not crazy and that I suffer from a rare condition with a hell of a cool name.

Now I shall rush out and tell all my friends just how cool I am. Hurrah!

FROM: afrazkhan [E-Mail]
DATE: Wednesday April 12, 2006 -- 7:55:39 am

I thought I'd join this "Exploding Head Syndrome Sufferers Group", as it's turning out to be.

I was reading a story from on the top 11 weirdest disorders. Chuckling away at how wonderfully insane some humans are, I suddenly stopped smiling; "I have that!". I couldn't believe there was a name for it, and other people suffer from it too. This is an excellent disorder to have. It's completely harmless (or so they say), and yet has the most amazing name.

I have a feeling it's to do with stress. I only get it when I'm exhausted, but stressed about something. Sometimes under those conditions I get the muscle spasms that some people here were describing, instead. It's as if your body and conscious mind want to rest, but there's something in your brain refusing to because it thinks there's some important task that needs to be taken care of.

I'm fairly sure that the muscle spasm is a milder form of the bang. Notice that you also get the spasm when you fall asleep in strange places (like the bus). Perhaps this is because your brain disagrees with the decision to fall asleep in such a potentially dangerous place? If that's the case then EHS makes sense when you're stressed; it's your brain saying "Nope, you can't fall asleep now, there's important stuff to do!".

Shut up brain. I make the decisions around here!

FROM: Brian
DATE: Wednesday April 12, 2006 -- 7:22:08 pm
Wow, I thought I was nuts. I get it mildy compared to some people on here, but I finally know what it is. I would tell friends about it and they would just give me blank stares. I feel validated :)

FROM: Viktor
DATE: Wednesday April 12, 2006 -- 9:31:32 pm
I've had this as long as I can remember. Occasionally I will hear a very, very loud metallic sound in my head, almost like a KRREANG! right when I am about to drift in to sleep. And at the same time feel something like an electric jolt to the head. I usually see some kind of glowing pattern before my eyes also. Never "lightning" as some have described it, more of a faint colorful pattern against a black background.

I have never felt a "gunshot", only that metallic sound.

It might happen more often when I am very tired and have consumed lot of coffeine (I say this because I remember I often have these incidents when I have stayed up all night playing video games and drinking cola)

I have had trouble sleeping as long as I can remember too, It usually takes me at least 1-2 hours to fall asleep every night.

It's probably without any relation, but I might as well mention that I feel the Deja Vu feeling very often, almost once every day. Sometimes it's so strong I get scared.

FROM: Another Exploding Head in Canada
DATE: Friday April 14, 2006 -- 1:37:51 am
Like many Im also relieved not to be alone. I havent told anyone about the strange noise because Im viewed as an intense (read different) person as it is. I entered loud bang before falling asleep into the search engine and Bam! (no pun intended) I found this and the Wikipedia entry.
My noise is definitely a loud, deep bang. It sometimes hurts. Usually it just scares me. It seems to happen before I fall into deep sleep.
The first time I remember it happening was a scary night. That time, I was already sleeping and dreaming when suddenly my dream changed. Dreams do sometimes shift direction but this was different. I wont get into the details because I still think its weird and it still makes me shudder even though its been about 5 years now. But after my dream changed, I heard a loud bang. I woke up and all was quiet so I started suspecting that the noise came from my head.
Thirty seconds later, the emergency vehicles stopped outside my building. In the sleepy confusion, I thought it must have been the sirens that woke me up but the noise has been happening since. It seems to be happening randomly. Im not completely convinced by the stress explanation because Im always under stress.
However, since surendipity asked:
>Are you sensitive to the experience between the point of awakeness into

Yes. I often know when I am falling asleep and how deeply.

>Have any of you experienced Shadowmen at anytime in your lives?
Shadowmen (dark blobs or dark figures)

If you mean by Shadowmen, dark, featureless figures that are not really there, then yes. I usually see one when Im very tired and/or sleep-deprived.
It makes pulling all-nighters a very unpleasant experience!

>Have any of you had surgery under a General Anesthetic prior to the EHS?
Have you had any General Anesthetic surgery in the past?

Yes, but it was a long time before my EHS, 15 years before

>Are you open to paranormal believes or religious/spiritual believes?


>Do they happen more in the middle of the month?

Havent tracked them yet but will from now on

>Are you aware of your surroundings during this bang, or do you have to come into reality and focus into an awakeness first?

Still somewhat aware. I am aware that I am about to slip into unconsciousness and it is at this transition point that I hear the sound. It brings me back to a fully awake (and I mean fully, nothing like a gunshot sound to get the heart pumping) state.

>Are you prone to insomnia?

Yes. Absolutely!
If anyone hears of any development or research linked to this condition, please post.

Its helpful to hear about everyones experiences. Thanks for sharing!

(As someone said, Gotta love the Internet!)

FROM: Another Exploding Head in Canada
DATE: Friday April 14, 2006 -- 1:40:29 am
Forgot to mention, I am a REGULAR migraine sufferer. The bad, aura and nausea-causing kind!

FROM: Me [E-Mail]
DATE: Friday April 14, 2006 -- 6:15:58 am
Something quite similar occurs with me too, but it's just more weird.
I can hear a sound, it can be anything from an electroshock to a man talking rubbish. It lasts for about 2-4 seconds. But when it's over, I forget what I've been thinking of for the last 5-10 minutes! Guess I have a rare variant of this syndrome...EHSRML? (Exploding Head Syndrome Resulting in Memory Loss)

FROM: lady from ohio
DATE: Wednesday April 19, 2006 -- 4:41:24 am
i play a lot of games on the playstation and noticed that when i really play too much i have Exploding Head Syndrome when going to sleep, maybe this has a lot to do with it.

FROM: nishat
DATE: Wednesday April 19, 2006 -- 5:10:09 am

FROM: nyetbhuy9
DATE: Friday April 28, 2006 -- 10:43:37 am
i think this is a bunch of crap and people should not wory their pretty little noisy heads about it

FROM: sd
DATE: Friday April 28, 2006 -- 4:03:54 pm
Hmm. Interesting.

I have this, but slightly different.

I'm not aware of it happening while I'm sleeping, but it frequently happens while I'm just dozing off - eg if I'm watching the TV on the sofa, and start falling alseep.

I don't get a bang like most of you do, it's just this kind of crazy shock feling in my head, and for a few seconds afterwards I feel like i'm parylised. I can get several in a row, and normally I wake myself up (sit up, or something) so I'm fully awake, and it stops.

I can feel slightly dazed for a few minutes afterwards.

I assumed it was something like a mini epileptic fit, but it never affected me enough to bother getting it checked. I'm not really a doctor guy.


FROM: sd
DATE: Friday April 28, 2006 -- 4:23:48 pm
To answer the questions;

>>Are you sensitive to the experience between the point of awakeness into

- Not always, but when it happens, I am just about falling asleep. It's clear this often happen as the brain is either winding down towards sleep (or just waking up, but I have never had this) or is asleep - I wonder if the few people who get it when they are fully awake are actually tired, and the brain is slow at the time?

>> Have any of you experienced Shadowmen at anytime in your lives?
Shadowmen (dark blobs or dark figures)

- No, never.

>> Have any of you had surgery under a General Anesthetic prior to the EHS?

- No. Never.

>> Have you had any General Anesthetic surgery in the past?

- Ditto.

>> Are you open to paranormal believes or religious/spiritual believes?

- I'm going to say no, although this started happening to me shortly after my father died, and a passing thought was that maybe he was trying to contact me . . . I was a kid at the time, but generally speaking I don't believe any of that kind of stuff. Seems it wasn't the case anyway.

>> Do they happen more in the middle of the month?

- Don't know.

>> Are you aware of your surroundings during this bang, or do you have to come into reality and focus into an awakeness first?

- Immediately aware it has happened, although as said, I'm normally kind of dozing off at the time, so I wouldn't say I was 100% alert.

>> Are you prone to insomnia?

Nope, have never had any sleep problems.

DATE: Saturday April 29, 2006 -- 2:44:40 pm
Wow! I am not the only crazy one!

I have only had this happen a couple of times. The last time was about five years ago. I was going through a divorce and very stressed. I remember trying to find something on the web about it then, and used the words "head bang explosion" in the search engine. There was not much info about it then.

It did not seem to happen as I was falling asleep, but instead woke me out of a deep sleep. I also had an accompanying flash of light. What happens to me more frequently is to be awakened by the sound of the doorbell ringing. No one else hears it but me, and they all act like I am crazy (I am married and have three teenaged daughters).

I do sometimes get silent migraines; don't know if this is at all related.

FROM: Matt
DATE: Monday May 8, 2006 -- 8:45:54 am
Went to the doctors about it... (you'd think it'd really concern them wouldn't you, at least send me for a scan!!!)... he said it was due to a stiff neck, and he gave me some stretching exercises to do!

I mean, c'mon! Someone needs to professionally look into this!, doctors don't seem to have a clue!!!

FROM: Matt
DATE: Monday May 8, 2006 -- 8:46:57 am
My experience -

I'm asleep. All of a sudden I'm not. Gradually my head is tensing up from the inside out. My whole body is paralysed! This is not a dream, I feel the bed underneath me, this is real. I'm awake, but only to experience what is happening to my body.
I hear a loud roar, as if the blood is being pushed through my ears at an alarming rate. I can't see, there's just so many pin pricks of light, the same as you get if you bump your head quite hard, but doubled. My teeth are clamped together and I can't open my mouth to call for help, my head feels like there's so much pressure in it that it will actually burst! There's a lump in my throat. I think this would be caused by the fear. The pressure becomes worse & and worse... when will it end. There's no way of telling how long this lasts for. I'd say seconds, but it seems like a lifetime. You feel as if you're dying. It's a confusing time, but you are completely aware of what's happening.
The pressure becomes to much to bear, it's painful, but more in an extremely uncomfortable way (I'm sure it's similar to being shot in the head, but who knows as no one usually survives that!).
Gradually the tension drifts away, the sound in my ears still carries on but slowly drifts away too, and when it's over, my body is so worn out and relieved that it's over, I just rest my head on the pillow (which I must say feels SO good!!!) and I just fall back to sleep again.

That's happened about 5 or 6 times in my lifetime. I'm now 25.

I'd like to hear from anyone else who's had similar, so please feel free to email me.

Many Thanks,

DATE: Friday May 12, 2006 -- 6:42:02 pm
Just nice to know I'm not alone in these what can only be described as unreal experiences.Only had a few of them and they have always sounded like a lightening strike has just gone off in my head, waking me from sleep. My heart races and my head pounds for a few brief moments then normality eventualy returns, but leaves me wondering what the hec is wrong with my head? I've even had the telephone sound ring once to me picking it up to find no one there. Its all very strange. Had my last EHS last night. Pregnant at the moment, got very worried. Had the last ones while pregnant before, wondering if they could be connected?

FROM: cody [E-Mail]
DATE: Tuesday May 16, 2006 -- 5:12:59 pm
'ive had too many surgeries on my neck and with these horrible head explosions, i'm in constant pain from the jerking/shaking that comes with the explosions.........please, i beg you , is there any way to get this to stop???

DATE: Wednesday May 17, 2006 -- 7:29:26 pm
In response to cory, Tuesday February 21, 2006 -- 11:08:35 pm

I have been getting these since I was about 16. Mine have been very loud but have never been frightening. Except for the odd time, these always happen while I am in a trance like state. I often go to sleep with a completely cleared mind. Although I am consious, I have no thought...after a while like that I start to dream but I am not quite asleep and then it happens My eyes open wide and I am completely awake. Once though, I had turned off my alarm and fallen back to sleep and was woken up by one of these things....I made it to work on time! I was very greatful!

FROM: aglae
DATE: Tuesday May 23, 2006 -- 8:42:05 am
I am 58. I have these explosions since a little bit more than one year now : at the moment that I am falling asleep, a big bang in my head. After that I feel my heart beating and I am very scared. I was thinking to speak about it with my doctor, but thought he was going to call me crazy. So, it makes me feel better to find this on internet.
Trying to find out why this started!
I never had insomnia, only drink coffee in the morning (one cup), never took antidepressives or other drugs.....I thought that maybe there was a connection with the medecine I take for my menopause or my thyroid (hormonal) since 3 years.
But it could be some kind of stress or anxiety also because I have been attacked in my house and raped two years ago. And since then I do never feel safe any more and I have also nightmares, something that I really never, never had before!
I am also living in a village that was hit by the tsunami last year.
But it simply could be related to ear problems : I have always been sensible from the eustachius tromps (in airplanes, lifts, mountains) and I also am dizzy very easily. About that I had my ears controlled, and I even had an EEG, but nothing wrong!
Anyway, it feels good to know this has a name and I am not the only one to have this. But there really should be some research about it, no?

DATE: Wednesday May 24, 2006 -- 12:41:02 pm
Aglae, please my posting on Thursday March 16, 2006 -- 6:57:52 pm above. Also, here are some reviews that mention EHS.

RW Evans and JMS Pearce, Headache 2001; vol. 41: pp. 602-603
Weir Mitchel, International Journal of Medical Science; vol. 100: pp. 109-127
Cohen and Kaube, Current Opinion in Neurology, 2004 vo. 17: pp295-299.

If you 'Google' Exploding Head Syndrome, you will find there is a small piece from the Mayo Clinic.

Don't overanalyze it, but if you talk to your doctor, you may show him the references I gave you above so he doesn't think you're crazy.

DATE: Monday May 29, 2006 -- 1:14:36 pm
Thanks for the entries - it's nice to know that it's not a stroke, brain seizure, tumour etc etc. It happened last night and I was quite worried about having to go to sleep tonight until I read this site.

DATE: Wednesday May 31, 2006 -- 9:02:39 am
Just woke up to a loud bang, then realised it was all in my head lol. So I checked out "crash bang inside head" in google and this page came up.

Wow, now I've got Exploding Head Syndrome. Gotta love it.

(For the researchers - age 56, female, no prescription drugs, rarely drink alcohol, don't smoke, do suffer migraine, was just going off to sleep lying on my back. Seems to me there aren't any common factors other than we're human, and whose to say the animals don't suffer it from time to time hehehe.)

Thanks for this info everyone.

FROM: Anthony
DATE: Friday June 2, 2006 -- 7:48:42 pm
I've had this before, like others it sounded like a gun shoot or something, freaked me out to no end because i live in the country, sometimes I figured it was just hunters or someone shooting at a stray dog. But it'ld happen only when I start to fall asleep.

I've also experneced the "Falling" symtome since I was pretty little, 8, 9, 10. Specially when I'ld have a migraine and lay down in the nurses office at school, I was sure I'ld fall right off the couch thingy they had. Pretty freaky stuff, when I was small I was sure I was feeling the rotation of the Earth :P or something. And I'ld have "half-dreams", guess could call it day-dreaming, of floating off out of control into space.

I just now did a search on Google to find out, first place that hit was the "New England Journal Of Medican" but you have to be a registered member to read anything on there *Sighs* But then I found this place and I'm glad more then just me have had these experinces and it's nothing to major. But the other people are right, doctors should take it more seriously. I tried talking to my doctor about it and she just laughed it off like I was making it all up.

My info is, 27 year old male, never drank, little drug use but been off that stuff for years, and only some migraine medicans but I rarely take it.

FROM: Steve
DATE: Saturday June 3, 2006 -- 3:56:39 am
I have experienced this for about a year. When it happened more than a couple of times, I went to my doctor. Like Anthony, above, my Doc had no idea what I was talking about and said he had never heard of the symptoms before. He suggested that it was probably a dream I had had. So much for my doctor. :(

I now have a name for it - EHS - thanks to finding this thread, and it seems to be harmless, if a somewhat disturbing condition. I also suffer from acephalgic migraine or 'silent' migraine - zig-zag lines appearing in the left-hand visual area, but no headache, perhaps there is a link.

I am male, 50, a moderate drinker and I smoke.

That said, 'Exploding Head Syndrome' is a pretty funny, if reasonably acurate description. :P

Just thought I would share. :)

DATE: Tuesday June 6, 2006 -- 9:34:39 am
That's funny that there is a steady stream of people on here with this problem.

I'm 25 I have serious insomnia, EHS (sounds like someone puts a big metal gong beside my head and whaps it (though less frequently lately), sleep paralysis (got it all the time when I was a kid though it hasn't happened in years) and apparently now either Propriospinal Myoclonus or sleep-starts since I occationally get this wierd shaking about 1.5 hours into sleep which gets worse if I try and move, usually after aforesaid gong noise)

I drink a lot of coffee mainly because I have serious insomnia and maintain the worst sleep schedule ever. Ecstasy/LSD probably ain't helping either, but oh well. (lol, actually suprisingly the odd time I do Ecstasy the EHS & PSM go away for like a whole week, maybe something to do with it kicking out a massive release of serotonin?)

Anyway, it's nice to know there are other people around with similar problems which have peristed for years, I was seriously starting to wonder if I was gonna drop dead one night.

DATE: Tuesday June 6, 2006 -- 9:34:56 am
That's funny that there is a steady stream of people on here with this problem.

I'm 25 I have serious insomnia, EHS (sounds like someone puts a big metal gong beside my head and whaps it (though less frequently lately), sleep paralysis (got it all the time when I was a kid though it hasn't happened in years) and apparently now either Propriospinal Myoclonus or sleep-starts since I occationally get this wierd shaking about 1.5 hours into sleep which gets worse if I try and move, usually after aforesaid gong noise)

I drink a lot of coffee mainly because I have serious insomnia and maintain the worst sleep schedule ever. Ecstasy/LSD probably ain't helping either, but oh well. (lol, actually suprisingly the odd time I do Ecstasy the EHS & PSM go away for like a whole week, maybe something to do with it kicking out a massive release of serotonin?)

Anyway, it's nice to know there are other people around with similar problems which have peristed for years, I was seriously starting to wonder if I was gonna drop dead one night.

FROM: Paims
DATE: Tuesday June 6, 2006 -- 9:36:05 am
That's funny that there is a steady stream of people on here with this problem.

I'm 25 I have serious insomnia, EHS (sounds like someone puts a big metal gong beside my head and whaps it (though less frequently lately), sleep paralysis (got it all the time when I was a kid though it hasn't happened in years) and apparently now either Propriospinal Myoclonus or sleep-starts since I occationally get this wierd shaking about 1.5 hours into sleep which gets worse if I try and move, usually after aforesaid gong noise)

I drink a lot of coffee mainly because I have serious insomnia and maintain the worst sleep schedule ever. Ecstasy/LSD probably ain't helping either, but oh well. (lol, actually suprisingly the odd time I do Ecstasy the EHS & PSM go away for like a whole week, maybe something to do with it kicking out a massive release of serotonin?)

Anyway, it's nice to know there are other people around with similar problems which have peristed for years, I was seriously starting to wonder if I was gonna drop dead one night.

FROM: Carrie
DATE: Wednesday June 7, 2006 -- 6:22:41 pm
Thank goodness for Google. In the past I've had the sensation that I'm falling and in the last few years I've heard in my head what sounds like thunder. But I had never worried about it, but then in the last year the thunder started to get louder and the two months ago "bang". I was having a hard time going to sleep and was just dozing off when it sounded like a cannon going off in my head then a tingling sensation. Since then i have had the electric jolt feeling with the loud sound. Very Frightening! I went to the doctor the other day because i started to worry that something was wrong and he said in the 20 years he has been a doctor he has never heard of anything like this. Then he went on to ask if I heard voices and were they telling me to do anything. I said no and so throughout the exam he would ask again if i heard voices. So i came home and did the search and i feel so much better. I will take info to him on EHS to show him that i'm not crazy and that others hear the explosion sound also.
Female,28, smoker, no meds., no alcohol

FROM: Alex
DATE: Sunday June 11, 2006 -- 6:28:11 pm
Last night I had the most bizarre, perhaps the most frightening experience in my life. Ive woken up a few times hearing loud explosions and occassionly I witness bright flashes which cause me to awake.
Last night I was having a typical bad nights sleep. It was about 3 am when I awoke, but I wasnt quite sure if I had previously been asleep or awake, I guess I was only half conscious. I was dreaming or thinking about writing a piece of orchestral music in my head, a nice peaceful bit of music, when all of a sudden I heard the most horrendous sound in my head. It was basically an orchestra playing the scariest, loudest note (or collection of out of tune notes) that I have ever heard, and it caused me to wake with a jolt all of a sudden. As I awoke however, the noise did not go away and I could hear some of the instruments slurring between notes It really sounded as if the noise was coming from outside in the street, as if it was echoing throughout the neighbourhood. After about 3 seconds, the noise suddenly started to fade away, (like the sound of a note ringing in a huge stadium). The way it faded away was really unnatural and strange, I can't really describe it very well.
I was so freaked out, I seriously thought that it was the end of the world or something, and I couldn't work out if the noise had really been in my head.
I heard someone else moving in my house, and called out. No-one else had heard anything, infact they were all asleep. Because of this I know the sound was in my head.
This has never ever happened to me before, and i hope it never happens again; if I had been older it could have given me a heart attack!
Has anyone else ever been awoken by any other noises, other than explosions or electrical noises? Am I completely insane? lol!
I think the fact that I was dreaming about music influenced what I heard when I was rudely awakened by this 'phantom orchestra', and the fact that I write a lot of music certainly didn't help.

FROM: Alex
DATE: Sunday June 11, 2006 -- 6:33:10 pm
I think it would be important to add, that I also suffer from back and neck pains. I've been diagnosed with a twisted spine, and my neck aches all the time. Does this have something to do with it? Is this perhaps a form of sleep paralysis? Or is it alien abduction? Ok i think we can probably discount the aliens, but I'd like to know what really causes this.

DATE: Monday June 12, 2006 -- 2:33:38 pm
My noise is like the opening sound of 'I feel fine' by the beatles. (which is ironic)
It is frighteningly loud, lasts for perhaps one second and is sometimes accompanied by flashes of light.
It does happen when I am half conscious, half asleep. I think it happens to me when i am very tired and stressed.
My neurologist said it was nothing to be worried about and that its cause was not known.
All the best Bob

FROM: shanti
DATE: Thursday June 15, 2006 -- 7:25:57 am
Could these be kudalini awakingings? See:


FROM: shanti
DATE: Thursday June 15, 2006 -- 7:42:49 am
Since wearing rudraksha mala I have had these experiences..........electrical sounds, muscle spasms...... especially at night when dropping off to sleep....

give the following a read:

FROM: Colleen
DATE: Thursday June 15, 2006 -- 7:28:38 pm
I started this condition whilst on holiday and the first episode convinced me I was dying and informed my bewildered husband that I was dying.
Some years passed before it happened again, but this time it began with a roaring in my left ear followed by the "bang" and an inability to lift my head or come out of it except by sheer will. Once I could force my head to lift it was ok. I felt if I didn't lift my head I would die. Racing heart etc.
Stress and overwork were most likely a factor in the latter episodes and may have been in the first. Can't remember.
Found an article in a magazine which explained it was "exploding head".
Although I have been stressed since then, I appear to have grown out of it.
Laying on my back or on my left side appear to be the times it occured. Still get the beginning symptoms of the roar beginning, but it wakes me before the "big bang noise" and I move to my right side or sit up for a minute.
Have been a migraine sufferer in the past, but have grown out of that too.
Age has some benefits..................

FROM: bumbaleena
DATE: Saturday June 17, 2006 -- 1:13:36 pm
i have the bang and the green laser effect occasionally and am glad i'm not alone!!!! it doesn't seem to have done any of us any harm....or has it???? well we're all in the same boat if it has!!

FROM: Veronica
DATE: Saturday June 17, 2006 -- 2:40:10 pm
How I wish we'd had Internet when I was younger! I am 65 years of age and have just discovered from this website that I have had EHS since childhood. I gathered the courage to mention it to a doctor when I was in my teens and he promptly told me I was mentally ill! I am a very happy outgoing person, though people might consider me "nervy" or "jumpy" as I have a lot of energy. I also have very fast reflexes. What a relief to read through all the letters and see that some of my more weird stuff, other people have had too. I get migraine auras, but no headaches, could write books about my dreams but can't "control" my lucid dreams anymore though (too much effort and I am now getting older!). Tried to take up Yoga in my 30's but when the Instructor had us meditate I nearly went into - and felt part of - the floor, with only my face showing above it! Very scary stuff, have never meditated since. I get EHS falling asleep on my back. Also from time to time get sleep paralysis, can't breathe until I get my body to wake up. Get "shadow-men" on my peripheral vision. Sometimes get a feeling when falling asleep that my body is entirely made of wood. When sick get very, very high fevers - that's usually when I see my environment either growing very large, or getting very small. Reading through all the explanations I liked the one in which the lady said we are, after all, only animals and we are forever on the "alert" to our environment and possible danger. I think when EHS happens(and it usually does when we are overtired - facial tics are a sure sign of that -and stressed) it is a battle going on between our conscious mind and our subsconsious. We are dead tired but our brains are still working overtime and telling our body not to fall asleep just yet. When we finally nod off we are wakened up by giving us a start. Finally, I also have tinnitus and get that whoosing sound in my ears. Our bodies are composed of electric synapses -all firing off in different directions so it's no wonder we get feelings of "electric" shocks. You've no idea how this website has finally set my mind at rest. I just hope doctors are reading all of this too. Well, that's enough from me! THANK YOU.

FROM: metoo
DATE: Monday June 19, 2006 -- 10:57:30 am
I have just been to see a neurologist about the electrical buzz I get in my head but he had no idea what I was talking about.

The buzz feels like one neuron after another firing in a pattern across my head, from ear to ear. It is very unpleasant. It happens when I am asleep and I wake up very hot - whether overheating in bed has caused it, or whether it causes the overheating I don't know.

It started after I had had reactive depression 12 years ago, but I was never on medication preferring talking therapy, which worked for me. I recovered after around 8 months and have not had depression since.I do have migraines occasionally. I have never taken drugs, do not smoke, and am healthy. I do have problems with my spine. I have had some spiritual experiences - all good.

It's a relief to know others experience this and are apparently well.

DATE: Wednesday June 21, 2006 -- 12:14:43 am
It seems there are two types of expierences people are having. Some hear a loud gunshot or explosion and some feel an electrical buzz. Are these two both ehs?

FROM: Sherry
DATE: Tuesday June 27, 2006 -- 12:36:19 am
I first started having this experience in my mid-20's, and the noises were quite loud. I thought I was losing my mind. I'm happy to know that there is a name for this phenomenon. I didn't even tell anyone until I was 36. Let's face it, when you bring it up, people tend to think you are a little crazy. I finally told my therapist, who had never heard of anything like it, and we treated the symptoms as stress and fatigue. Now, the episodes are not as strong, but unless I take medication to sleep, they happen every night. The noises that I hear are doorbells, knocking on a door or the wall, a voice shouting, "Hey! You!" I don't get any electric shocks or tingling, and I don't recall having seen any light. The events always happen when I am just falling asleep, and they wake me up 5 or more times each night. I take Ambien or my life is a mess from lack of sleep. I, too, have been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, and experience anxiety attacks and panic attacks, though these have diminished over time to only one or two a year. I am now 43, so 20 years is a long time to have trouble sleeping. I had surgery under anesthesia four times before I was 20, I have had experiences with strange shadow people in my sleep, I am very aware of paranormal experiences, I am definitely an insomniac, and I am NOT crazy--a bit neurotic perhaps--but that is for a different post!;-)


Rip Van Winkle slept for twenty years
and I think,
he must be my idol.

Night. The house hums silencing darkness.
Elusive sleep. Shadows dance
across the ceiling,
macabre actors in elegant costume.
Demon sheep.

Dawn. Street lights hold the glow of their night's work.
Early sky. Turquoise trips
over window sills,
floodlights on the stage.
Curtain falls.

FROM: Tinnadmin
DATE: Wednesday June 28, 2006 -- 4:58:06 am
Alex, you asked whether EHS has something to do with neck problems. I believe it does. My neck is stiff and creaky, probably from muscle tension, maybe a bit of cervical arthritis. An Internet friend of mine got EHS after surgery on his neck. The doctor explained his as resulting from a sudden movement of spinal fluid.

Maybe something in the neck like scar tissue or an inflamed muscle causes the symptoms by irritating a nerve that goes into the head.

FROM: John
DATE: Wednesday June 28, 2006 -- 7:20:35 pm
Think its to do with sleep apoea; the bodies way of waking you up when you stop breathing or to synchronize breathing.
A flash of light can be seen whether asleep or awake in a dark room when there's a sudden loud noise, whether internal or external.

Sleep well.

FROM: Sarah
DATE: Friday June 30, 2006 -- 9:21:05 pm
My kids laughed at me when I told them I just discovered I had exploding head syndrome. I get the loud bangs like thunder and the buzzing noises too sometimes. I have scoliosis in my neck and suffer neck and shoulder pain quite often. I told my brother, who is a doctor, about the buzzing noises in my brain sometimes--he suggested it was a "shadow migrane." I'm glad to know I'm not alone, but still not convinced that all of us EHSer's aren't a bit weirdly wired.

FROM: shain dash
DATE: Saturday July 1, 2006 -- 10:10:03 am
after a severe vertigue attact about 3 years ago i start having headaches on righ side of my head
htey are about 20-30 secound few time some days
specialiest diagnoised this as a exploding head syndrom, and priscribe Endop for my pain
after three years i am still suffering and recently i realised that before my pms also the pain comes for few days
i also get a sharp pain in my right ear.
are these all related.?
have you heard of similar casess?
is EHS is only refer to hearing loud noise?
i have never heard of any loud noise just a pain which exteremly painful and cant compare it with any thing
i get tears in right eye from severaty and forget breathing and wish to die

FROM: Eric F
DATE: Monday July 3, 2006 -- 12:05:57 pm
Oh lord, when will it end? First I was finally diagnosed with Atypical Trigeminal Neuralgia and now this! At least I find out it is relatively benign. I was starting to think I had a tumor or something.

Nice to know I'm not dieing.

I've been having this more and more frequently over the past year. I suspect it has something to do with all the meds I take for ATN, but I'm taking Nerontin, Depakote, so it's not seizures.

In my case it usually happens early in the morning when I'm drifting in and out of sleep. It feels like pressure building up inside my head, then, "WHAM!!!" like someone hits me over the head with a brick!!!

I think it's time for a sleep study. Back to my neurologist...

FROM: matt
DATE: Sunday July 9, 2006 -- 6:54:57 pm
Whoa yes! this happend to me for the first time lastnight as i dosed off, ive never been so scared in my life,
had i taken too many drugs in the last month? drank to much in the weekend? what the hell was going on, it felt like someone had put a bomb on me and set it off yet i woke up with all my limbs, a loud sound in my right ear kept going for a minute or so and i felt like i was going to die,

FROM: Hope
DATE: Tuesday July 11, 2006 -- 11:01:20 am
So wonderful to read all these posts. I experienced my first instance of EHS two nights ago after having been asleep for just ten minutes. Incredibly bizarre! An enormous concussive sound & attendant light show in my head that lasted a split second. Jolted awake, I could clearly tell the sound was not heard externally as the dogs were still sleeping peacefully at the foot of the bed. The experience was not in any way akin to a dream.

I had worked hard physically all day and was very tired and relaxed whern I went to sleep. Don't know why it occured now and never before. Am not anxious for it to happen again! I'm 52, female.

FROM: trent
DATE: Thursday July 13, 2006 -- 12:29:11 pm
my friend had this and last week his head actually exploded

FROM: trent
DATE: Thursday July 13, 2006 -- 12:30:49 pm
in noise (sorry)

FROM: trent
DATE: Thursday July 13, 2006 -- 12:35:41 pm
the treatment is Clomipramine

DATE: Thursday July 13, 2006 -- 2:19:18 pm
I'm falling asleep and then, suddenly, it feels like i've been hit over the head with something hard, and a very loud BANG accompanies it. I jolt awake. I start falling asleep again, and it happens again, BANG!! This repeats about four or five time before I give up tyring to fall asleep. I get up for a while and then go back to bed.

I go through phases of it that last about 4 days. I am lying on by back each time it happens.

Incidentally, or not, I get easily stressed, and I tend to get muscle tension in my head, neck and upper back, and I have trouble sleeping in general.

DATE: Thursday July 13, 2006 -- 2:57:01 pm
There is a Wikipedia entry for Exploding Head Syndrome:

- definately what most of us seem to have

FROM: Sunny
DATE: Thursday July 13, 2006 -- 4:17:54 pm
Pleased to find that there are others hearing and seeing things when their eyes are closed :)

For the last several years I've been experiencing the sound of bells while I'm sleeping. I would hear what I believed to be the doorbell. It would occur only in the morning hours, oftentimes on a weekend when I had planned to sleep in :( I would go to the door or peek through the curtains to find no one there. It surprised me that whoever had rung the bell could depart so quickly. Oftentimes I would wake my daughter, much to her disappointment, to ask if she had heard the doorbell and to help me peer out the windows.

I've moved in the last year or so to a house without a doorbell. The bells I hear now are buzzers, or a simple brief ringing or ding of any variety of bells. This occurs after my clock alarm has rung and I am mid-point in my usual process of hitting the snooze.

Randomly, over the last several years in the morning hours I would hear a man calling my name. It would continue until I was awake and seemed to be coming from inside my head. He does have a lovely voice :)

The Zaps:
I call them the zaps. They occur only at night, shortly after I've gone to bed. Any small sound seems to trigger them. As an example, something will creak in the room and there is an immediate response to the sound of what feels like an electrical zap in my head. It doesn't hurt, it's just a bit scary.

I sometimes see arcs of bright light when my eyes are closed. This has occurred around the time when I've had a migraine.

The doctor:
I've just started seeing a neurologist about a degenerative disc problem I have in my neck so I asked him about the zaps. He said that he thought they were the result of myoclonus, possibly related to stress. After reading about myoclonus, I don't think that explains the zaps.

Are the answers medical?
My daughter enjoys Sylvia Browne. Sylvia talks about spiritual guides and angels that we each have to help guide us during our earthly journey. I'd like to believe that someone God-sent or a loved one who has passed, cares enough about me make sure that I wake up and am not late to work :)

FROM: Sunny
DATE: Thursday July 13, 2006 -- 4:52:01 pm
Went back and was reading some more comments on this page so am adding a follow up.

Doc Feb 22, 2006: Don't take anti-depressants

Surendipity Jan 2, 2006: 1) Yes, I have seen shadowmen. About 10 years ago I would awaken at night to see figures similar to those in the movie Ghosts that are in the scene when the bad guy dies. 2) yes, had heart surgery when I was 3, I was also completely frozen for the surgery. 3) open to paranormal and spiritual beliefs. I have had some remarkable occurrences in my life 4) not noted any specific time of the month when these things occur 5) have not had much insomnia for a few years

Not sure who asked this: yes, have fibromyalgia, have had it since before anyone was diagnosing it - been struggling with it for years.

FROM: Cheryl
DATE: Tuesday July 18, 2006 -- 5:17:36 am
I am 55 years old and have been suffering from EHS for about 25 years or so. It had slowly progressed from the occasional 'zap' now and then, to every night. Accompanying this I become paralysed and very afraid (perhaps of the 'shadowmen' I sometimes see - I had never heard these figures referred to as 'shadowmen' until I read this forum - it is an extremely apt expression). The zap starts as a fairly soft buzzing noise travelling from one ear to the other (or so it seems), to becoming louder and louder, under I think my eardrums and head will explode. I find it very distressing and almost painful. I also seem to hallucinate when this is happening, i.e.'shadowmen', and other weird things (sometimes) which seem very real and I am terrified. Also, I cannot move (sleep paralysis) until I make some sort of noise so my husband can shake, or even just touch me, to fully awaken me. Then I have to get out of bed for a few minutes, and when I go back to bed, can sleep quite well. I also suffer from tinnitus, which is not getting any worse and I can cope with it at the moment.

Similar to 'Sunny's' comment, any small sound will prompt an immediate response and this small noise will sound like a loud bang and wake me up. I didn't realise this could be part of the EHS until I read this comment, and others, and I can fully relate to it, except it does not cause a 'zap' in my case. It just wakes me up with a jolt, like an electric shock I guess.

I have also found that when I get very tired and can't, or don't, give in to sleep, I suffer a major attack of EHS. So guess what, as soon as I get tired these days, I have a snooze - even if it's only for half an hour or so. At night I generally go to bed quite early and can sleep somewhere between 8 to 12 hours.

I believe this condition is familial - my paternal grandmother had it, as does my father, although it doesn't worry him and he says he enjoys the sensation. I imagine his attacks are not as frequent or bad as mine.

About ten years ago, before I had treatment and when it was at its worse, I was referred to a neurologist, who prescribed Tofranil, 75 mg, about one hour before going to bed. This has since been changed to Prothiaden (Dothep), same dosage, which works well. I will have to take this medication (or similar) for the rest of my life. Even so, I still occasionally have a minor attack.

FROM: Cheryl
DATE: Tuesday July 18, 2006 -- 5:41:44 am
PS to my previous comments.

I also have extremely lucid and colourful dreams - often complete stories with a beginning, middle and end (like a book). I can usually remember my dreams. Sometimes I have nightmares, but not too often.

Another point - when I first saw the neurologist he didn't know what was wrong with me, so he had to do some research and discovered what the problem was. My G.P. had told me, years ago, that the neurons in my brain weren't 'firing' correctly at the moment I was about to fall asleep. I guess this could explain the sensation in an easy-to-understand manner. He also explained that it wasn't really a 'noise' as such, and that my head would not blow up or my eardrums blow out.

I can forego my tablet for one night (if I am out late and perhaps having an alcoholic drink or two), but the next day I am usually lethargic and have an awful thick head - like it weighs tons! And no, it's not a hang-over - I know what they are like!

Those who don't understand EHS can make fun of us, but we all know how upsetting it can be.

FROM: Rich
DATE: Tuesday July 18, 2006 -- 9:30:01 am
I don't know if this is the same thing but it sounds pretty similar:

Having 'experimented' with ecstacy quite a lot i find that, a day or two after taking them, when falling asleep i will experience one of these "explosions". For me this is more of an electrical shock than anything. I wake with a start and my head is 'zinging' (well how else to describe it). It pulses several times and i feel a tingly sensation, not necessarily painful but very disturbing. Sometimes it is very severe and it takes a few seconds to clear leaving me almost terrified, other times it's a brief tingle.

It's only when i'm alseep or falling asleep and never in the day time. It seems to particularly relate to when i have smoked weed that evening (i still had to have had ecstacy over the last couple of days though). I can even feel when one is coming on. Almost like a disjointed drifting sensation. Like i'm falling asleep but not in the right way - as though my brain is going to sleep but forgetting to switch off my conciousness. I have experienced this in my dreams as well. I have had dreams where i am paralysed in bed and unable to move or speak, it feels like i am having one long 'gentle' shock rather than a short sharp one.

This is all purely self inflicted and i'm certainly not looking for sympathy. In a sick way it is kind of interesting, although for me the effects do go away after time.

I never expected there was a real condition with similarities, maybe there is a connection? I have often thought that MDMA blurs the boundaries between dream state and the real world - although that's purely my own non-medical opinion.

MDMA (as i understand it) causes the depletion of dopamine and serotonin, perhaps there are reduced levels in your own brains causing this?

Either way it's just for information, hopefully you can get something useful out of it!

FROM: kt
DATE: Friday July 21, 2006 -- 10:39:44 am
i've just realised i have this and so has my sister.
i mainly get a ringing like an alarm and sometime my ear hurts so much i want to cry. not nice but i've been woken up by my own voice inside my head and other voices calling me (thanks sunny glad i'm not the only one with voices).
cant wait to tell anyone who was slagging me that its got a name.

FROM: Crystal
DATE: Friday July 21, 2006 -- 11:18:25 am
i am 13, and just now found out i have exploding head syndrome. it wuz on the list of 13 craziest mental illnesses. they said that it can be caused by stress, and now i realize everytime it has happened, it wuz before a big test @ school. it sux because i have a hard time getting 2 sleep already, but now that i wake myself up with exploding head syndrome, it's even harder. but it's nice 2 know that there are other people out there who have this 2 and not just me.

FROM: Tracy
DATE: Saturday July 22, 2006 -- 11:02:59 pm
I am so glad I found this. I have epilepsy that was diagnosed a year ago and I have the big bang sound frequently. I know it is not a dream because it is so explosive sounding and real sounding. I have made my poor husband get up and look for things like someone throwing rocks at the window and etc. I feel nervous after I have this experience. So glad to know it was not "all in my head"!

FROM: nikki
DATE: Saturday July 22, 2006 -- 11:25:47 pm
now i feel crazy...i always know the sound was in my head and thought nothing but an annoyonce of it ...... but its reall and this happens to me almost all the time......mostly when im not in my bed.....could that have something to do with it...sleeping where your not used to sleeping.....awesome topic

FROM: elise
DATE: Monday July 24, 2006 -- 11:37:50 pm
Wow, so I am not the only one. I have had EHS symptoms for three years. I did not know it had a name, though.. I was diagnosed with Meniere's disease and some say it is part of the disease, located in the middle ear. Nerve damage or neurologic effects from the balance and auditory center damage. The ear is related to head noises and is part of tinnitis. I get a loud "shotgun" sound along with a "falling through space" feeling along with lights at times. It happens when I lay down at night because the fluid in the ear moves around causing strange sounds and sensations. When you have nerve damage or an imbalance in fluid (caused by bad diet, stress or anything that increases inflammation), it can cause auditory hallucinations. Also my eyes seem to move and jerk, like nystagmus... It happens most when I am stressed or tired or eat junk or too much salt which causes build up of fluid.. I have to stay on a low salt, very healthy diet. I am not so afraid of the noises and sensations any more except when they wake me up, my heart is pounding and I feel nauseated with vertigo sometimes.. Take care all...... at least we do not have a brain tumor..

FROM: Jools
DATE: Tuesday July 25, 2006 -- 5:16:39 am
This is amazing, for years I didn't put much thought into my "strange episodes" but I had such a frightening one last night I had to look on the net to find out if I should see a doctor!
I've had the massive electrical cracking noise and white flash since mid teens.
Usually when very tired, but always when i'm awake and just starting to sleep. Not intentionally trying to sleep, but just sort off nodding off while doing something.
Last night though I had one in the middle of the night that woke me up.
I was very different to what i'm used to. It was like an explosion that went on for 3 seconds or so and I felt like I was shaking from the blast. (I dont think I did shake as my girl friend is a light sleeper and didn't notice anything)
I've never really been worried about them because it seemed kind of logical to me. Plus i'm sure in the book Bravo Two Zero about british SAS in Iraq, one of them discribes having the same electrical crack and light episodes while on the run.

My history if it helps...

Im a 29yo male
Have had general anesthetic when i was around 5
Suffer from tinnitus - though i don't even really hear it, just a constant high pitched white noise that i can hear when i think about it. Also loud noises distort, like an over driven amplifier noise.
Suffered from depression and took anti-depressents, but had EHS before that
I'm not spiritual
Have bad sleep patterns, wake up once or twice a night, but not what i'd call an insomniac.
I have a bad neck, it creeks and clicks like crazy. Infact it was very sore the night i had my big explosion.
I also get pins and needles in my left hand (just select fingers) and sometimes the left side of my face. I had a nerve conduction study done and they said everything was fine.

FROM: kevin
DATE: Tuesday July 25, 2006 -- 9:07:20 am
Holy Crap I cant believe there are others like me! I just had an "episode" about 15 minutes ago and woke up tp research it on the net and found this site.Ive had "it" for years but doctors told me bthere was nothing biologically or physically wrong.They told me that it was likely anxiety.When it first happened I thought I was having seizures or going to choke in my sleep.After a few years I noticed I wasnt dying lol.But its scary as hell.

Its always when Im on the verge of falling asleep.Ill get this "zap" feeling in my head that startles me awake.Its usually accompanied by a falling feeling or a going fast feeling.Sometimes right before it happens my thoughts go a million miles per minute and then it feels like my brains "locks" or stops.The really bad episodes are when I get this tickle or choking feeling at the moment it happens. It feels like Im drowning for a split second.

Ive noticed rubbing my neck or having a glass of wine helps.

FROM: Gary Kay
DATE: Friday July 28, 2006 -- 1:18:41 am

I'm 61 years old and it's been a while since I've had an attack, but last night I had a huge one. It was totally different in that I was lying (sleeping) on my side. (In the past...most of the EHS experiences have occured while sleeping on my back). Last night was very, very big...a true explosion in my head...very scary.

From visiting this site it is very apparent that many of us experience EHS. Such being the case, why is that there are no formal studies/investigations of this phenomena ???? As I posted a couple of years back....I had a ct scan and a brain scan and neither my doctor or the neurologist/specialist had any clue as to what was going on....eventually I had to self-diagnose, and that was only possible because of internet investigation.

There should be some answers here somewhere. Is anybody aware of any ongoin studies ????

FROM: Gary Kay
DATE: Friday July 28, 2006 -- 5:23:56 pm

After perusing the various postings, it is obvious that there are certain commonalities to many of our experiences.

One point that keeps being reiterated is that (our) doctors/specialists know little or nothing about EHS. You would think that someone would do a study.

What really pisses me off is that after I got dismissed by the neurologist (he reviewed my ct scan and brain scan, and interviewed me), he did nothing to follow up. It was after un-productive visits with my own doctor and the neurologist, that I decided to do my own research. When I found an article describing EHS from the Mayo Clinic, I mailed it to the neurologist and asked for comment/opinion/feedback....he never even bothered to respond.

My info:

Age: 61
Health: very good, exercise regularly, non-smoker, good diet, regular alcohol user (wine), no drugs/medication.
Sleep habits: terrible sleeper...wake up 10-20 times per night, need 9-10 hours sleep per night.
EHS: started occurring in my mid 50's. It happens every 3-4 weeks, with the intenisty varying. There have been 4 or 5 experiences that were absolutely terrifying because of the intensity and loudness of the bang/zap.
In 1 instance I believe that the "experience" may have been integrated with a horrible dream that ended with the loudest intense bang that I thought might have been a nuclear bomb blast. I woke up scared, hot, and sweating. Most experiences are far less severe...some are limited to a sort of metallic clanging sound. Almost always happens when I'm sleeping on my back.

I would like to learn more about EHS.

FROM: stefan
DATE: Tuesday August 1, 2006 -- 2:25:48 am
I'm not sure if its EHS but I occasionally get an 'electrical zap' going off in my head as I am drifting off to sleep, not when I am alseep. I may go years without them but when they come I may have 3 such 'events within the space of 10 minutes while going to sleep.

Is there a good link around about this ? the Wikipedia EHS link is pretty small.

DATE: Friday August 4, 2006 -- 12:17:47 pm
I also get EHS. Big bang, or cattle prod electric shock feeling in my head, just as drifting off to sleep. Never when awake and never mid-sleep. It also can feel like a thud, or a buzz which kind of isn't as bad if I clench my eyes as it happens.
I don't do drugs or smoke or drink caffeine or drink alcohol much.
Does seem to be worse if I'm dehydrated, or stressed or working too hard. I also have a sore neck at the moment (from tennis) and think its made it worse.
I've had it for 4 years, on average once a week, but not that regular. It can go away for a long time then come back.

I've also had a cat scan because of this, and it was clear. I also had a blood test which came up in the normal band.

I hope it one day can go from being a syndrome, to something with a known cause and known fixes.

I don't see shadowmen, I don't have spiritual experiences, I don't have insomnia, but I do get headaches sometimes.

FROM: Linda
DATE: Friday August 4, 2006 -- 1:46:26 pm
Ok, these bangs have finally got my attention after last night. I had a really loud metal sounding bang that woke me up....(I thought I was asleep, but maybe I had just fallen to sleep). Anyway, I have a pretty bad neck problem and had been getting injections to treat it; so maybe that is causing my "big bangs". At least I know I'm not alone, because I was beginning to think I had lost my marbles. I've experienced this (EHS) many times before, but usually when I am just falling to sleep, or within a few hours. Hope this goes away, but I guess it time will tell. So glad to have come across this site.

FROM: Tony
DATE: Monday August 7, 2006 -- 1:55:14 pm
Well, I don't know what to make of all this. I had something like this happen to me maybe a year, year and a half ago.

I was lying in my bed on my back just at the point where I was still conscious but ready to drift off to sleep when I began to feel my body collapsing into itself. That seemed like it lasted five to ten seconds. That collapsing ended with a giant BOOM upon which I awoke completely, sat up, and was breathing hard and a little sweaty.

I wasn't feeling well at the time. I was going from doctor to doctor to find out what was wrong with me. I ended up with a diagnosis of hypothyroidism and I am now on medication. I wasn't then. I had 2 more episodes after the first one but not quite as intense.

Now, I get an electrical zapping in my head sometimes. It feels like it travels from inside my head from ear to ear. The funny thing is I was getting what I describe as an electrical arcing at different parts of my body for awhile. I could even hear them, especially one I got in my abdomen area. It made a sound that sounded like an arc welder if you know what that sounds like. That all started after I began taking my prescription for my hypothyroidism. I was getting bumped up in dose about every 8 weeks after bloodwork. I was on levothyroxine. After not feeling much better I finally went to an endo and described what I was feeling and he told me that some people have adverse reactions to the fillers and dyes in pills. He changed my prescription to Synthroid 50 mcg, the pure ones with no dyes but they do have fillers.

The arcing seemed to go away. I am now on Armour Thryoid, the dissected one obtained from pig's thyroid. However, one of the hormones that I am checked for, T4, was still low at my last visit so the Dr. and I decided to add a small 25 mcg dose of the Synthroid back in with the Armour. I went to get it filled, but the pharmacise filled the prescription with levothyroxine, the generic form of Synthroid. I accepted it after finding out that it is the white version (no dyes). It's cheaper, too.

Well, after months of not having those electrical zaps, I just got one again in my head. Coincidence? Maybe. I'm going to get another prescription for only Synthroid and start that. There are a lot of fillers used in pills that can cause reactions in some people. Some people are fine. Some are not.

Another problem is MSG. It's in a lot of food and isn't clearly labeled as such. Foods with gelatin or autolyzed yeast extract have MSG in them. Or foods with whey. MSG causes a lot of propblems for a lot of people. It's best to know what you're eating. Check the labels and do some homework.

I haven't slept in my bed since those episodes. It scared me to death. My theory is that certain food ingrediants (and pill fillers) are not cleared from the body completely and build up over time. I think they can "short circuit" the neuro pathways and bridge the gaps where the synapses (spelling) occur. I don't know. I am not a doctor. Just a theory.

I hope everyone here gets relief from this terrible affliction.

FROM: John
DATE: Monday August 7, 2006 -- 3:53:05 pm
I am not alone, what a relief. Loud electrical metallic ping in my head just occured as I was falling asleep for an afternoon nap. Yes, it does jolt you awake.

I first experienced a swishing sensation in my head when I was about 21. To say the least I was freaked out, when to doctor he thought I was nuts, but he ordered a cat-scan and everthing was all right. That seemed to relieve me and the symptoms disappeared.

Now, 17 years later, for the last 2 months, I experience a pinging sensation, sometimes on consecutive nights or it may disappear for a while. It always happens when in a semi-concsious state just prior to falling asllep. For me it may be related to caffeine, I will lower my intake and see if the occurences decrease.

Are any of you religious, is god sending us messages?

DATE: Wednesday August 9, 2006 -- 1:59:30 am
A little bit more, concerning my 22nd feb input.
Perhaps the following url might help.

FROM: peter
DATE: Saturday August 12, 2006 -- 8:11:45 am
1st time it happened to me i nearly jumped out of bed. "sounded" real but not an external nosie, hmmm interesting. as othres have said, i thought it was only me.. ps started years ago and i still not got brain tumout so that is good, cheers.

DATE: Saturday August 12, 2006 -- 8:28:37 am
Every now and then i get this feeling in my head and it feels like an electric zap or something in my head- it happens randomly in random places if anyone knows what this is i would really appreciate it if u emailed me and informed me of what is happening inside my head...

FROM: Traven
DATE: Sunday August 20, 2006 -- 6:49:07 pm
So I'm reading this book last night and I come across the word "myoclonic". Never having encountered the word before, I enter it into Google, get a bunch of hits, and click on the wikipedia link. Turns out it describes, among other things, a sort of muscle spasm that affects people when they're trying to sleep.

Ummm.......I say to myself. That happens to me a lot.

So then I come to the "related links" part of the Wiki entry and see "Exploding Head Syndrome". Never saw the phrase before, but I know what it is right away. Didn't even have to click on the link. I did though...and eventually I end up here.

I'm male, 54 years old, and I experience EHS quite frequently. Don't know when it started but I've had it for a long time. Sounds to me like the twang of a breaking guitar string or the snapping of a taut piano wire. Sometimes it's very loud and startles me, other times it barely registers. I also get a post-twang reverb effect now and then. I've never felt the electric tingle or experienced light flashes. Never saw the shadow people (and boy am I glad about that).

It's never really worried me. Notice that I didn't write that "I suffer from EHS". I always felt it was just a normal ear thing....some sort of internal tension release. No pain or discomfort is associated with the sound....just a mild sense of wonder at the physical phenomenon. A particularly loud one will sometimes elicit a WTF type reaction.

For what it's worth to researchers, I share some things in common with other posters. I did my share (maybe a tad bit more than my share) of drugs back in the '60s, but I haven't touched them for over twenty years. I rarely drink. I work a constantly rotating shift schedule and often find myself having difficulty getting to sleep. On the odd occasion when I'm able to sleep during normal hours (at night), I sleep well.

......and that's my story.

Don September 4, 2006, 1:21 am

Dang! I have these things for years and FINALLY know what they are. Thank you!2

Lewis September 6, 2006, 5:11 am

This has never been bad enough to mention until tonight.

Just before I went to bed tonight my heart was beating very hard and fast, seemingly for no reason. I laid down in bed trying to slow my breathing and calm down.

After lying down for about 5 minutes I heard an EXTREMELY loud Bang in my head. It’s happened before (sometimes in the middle of the day whilst awake) and it sounds like the pop you get from a HiFi being turned off.

This time it was so loud, had it have been sound it would have easily deafened everyone in the house. I woke up instantly (shouting a variety of swear words) only to realise that I didn’t actually hear it with my ears (i promise, this is no exaduration).

Furthermore the shock of the bang also made my spine straiten with extreme force and my neck swing back for just a split second.

I didn’t know what to do or how to explain it to anyone so I looked on the internet and found this.

It’s unbelievably relieving to see so many others who have experienced this. I thought I was going mad.

I had involuntary twitches as a child that went away at about the age of 15, also I’m a sleepwalker. Could either of these have a connection?

Justin September 6, 2006, 12:23 pm

I’m a male over 60 years old, and I’ve experienced the “exploding head syndrome” for as long as I can remember. They occur as I’m about to drop off to sleep, and can be a sound (snapping, bang, a ping!) or a flashing light, or both. They occur infrequently, often not occurring for months at a time. Recently though, I went through 4 or 5 days when they occurred each night at bedtime, and although they usually happen only once a night, on two of those nights I had two or more events.

They occur in many forms, but are usually loud snaps like a board breaking, bright flashes like electrodes sparking, pings like a high tension wire breaking, a short hum like a Star Wars laser sword, or a crackling like a rifle shot going through the air. They last for only a split second, and can be accompanied by a body twitch similar to the start you feel when surprised by someone or something.

Tyler September 11, 2006, 4:42 pm

I’m not sure, but I think I just had an attack at work. I work at a Visitor Information Centre, and my vision went funny for a second accompanied (sp?) by a large sound emitting from within my own head, followed by a ringing in my ears for about fifteen seconds. Is is possible for this syndrome whilst awake?

Remove to expose adhesive September 15, 2006, 1:40 am

My head actually imploded yesterday…
is there any link between this and EHS?
please help me i am derranged and mild kiity moo kaka

Rusty September 20, 2006, 7:08 pm

I experienced EHS last night for the first time. I am 47, male, good health (I hope). I wear an ear plug in one ear due to spousal snoring.

Had the huge BANG and startled awake. I think I had already fallen asleep. The sound to me was like the electrical breaker tripping at the subway station – just a massive bang.

Stress level slightly higher than normal. I’ve had a little less sleep than I need but not much. So not a lot to correlate to what I’ve read elsewhere.

dhe September 26, 2006, 4:00 pm

My ex and I messed around with meth on and off for a few months. It was a life ripping experience. We separated, and decided we needed to get rid of that crap once and for all. He did about two weeks before me. At that time he told me about and explosion in his head as he was going to sleep, a bright light and a sense of pressure. He said he was ok though. I was concerned for him. A few weeks later I had the same exact experience. That was 10 years ago. Never had it again.

jane September 29, 2006, 10:41 pm

Well, well, took me two nights of searching but finally found you all and am relieved,after 15 years of the what for me are short sharp shocks that I imagine are precursors to a fatal stroke, to hear that it’s nothing of the sort.

But,one point not mentioned is that if I drink it doesn’t happen. But if I don’t, then it almost certainly will.

No loud bangs as such, just like a stroke of lightning/electric shock. Seems to be getting more intense of late. Gave up coffee years ago,but have the odd one (once a fortnight). As I said, if I have a drink in the evening, sleep like a baby.

Jay September 30, 2006, 10:35 am

Sorry everyone for the multiple posts.

Not sure what happened.

I entered the anti-bot code, hit enter, and it posted 5 times???

Sheila October 1, 2006, 8:53 am

Just happened to me again last night – second time in three weeks. The first time I thought I had been dreaming but last night I was aware that the bang was real – sounded like a gunshot inside my head but no reverberation – also bright light but not a flash.
I can relate to the fatigue and am going through a very stressful period, don’t drink, but get through a lot of coffee.
What I was wondering is – have any of you woken up trembling – seems to come from the inside of chest and abdomen. Again I thought I was dreaming but one night my husband woke me because the shaking was so violent it had woken him. Just wondered if there was a connection.
The bit I dread most is the heart thumping – it’s scary.
Thanks to everyone who has written – it’s such a relief to know I am not alone.

Debbie October 1, 2006, 6:46 pm

I am so glad I found this site, I thought I was going crazy, at night when I am about to doze off I get this loud bang sound and a electrical shock in my head, it happens at least 4 times a week, I talked to my doctor about it, but no response on this, they look at me like I’m crazy. At least now I don’t feel alone or crazy anymore.

Hennie October 4, 2006, 11:19 pm

The first time I can remember it happening to me was about 8 years ago. Subsequently it has happened a number of times. Tonight I discovered it has a name and is a recognized ‘condition’.

It happened as I was falling asleep. The ‘deafening’ explosion awoke me instantly, but I soon realized that no explosion that load would *not* cause my window to shatter, car alarms in the street to go off, or at least wake the other people in the house. Then a most amazing thing happened. My mind started piecing together a ‘reason’ for this phenomenon by way of a dream-like memory thingy. It’s actually hard to explain, but I (the conscious me) was a spectator to the imaginitive/dream part of my brain cooking up a “logical explanation” for the sound that I heard…the explosion was caused by an enormous mechanical war robot which had just fired off a missile into a car outside my house! I know it sounds utterly ridiculous, but for a moment my mind tried, and almost succeeded, to convince me that it had actually happened! Of course all of this happened in a split second, and I was in fact very afraid at one point, but fortunately my more rational faculties came to the rescue and I peered out the window to confirm my initial suspicions about the absence of angry mechs and smoldering wrecks.

I had to laugh at myself. My girlfriend woke up, asked me WTF was so funny, and I told her it’s a long story. She went back to sleep with a disgruntled “hmf!”

Tyler October 6, 2006, 2:29 pm

To steer away from the main topic for a moment, if I may . . .

I had an experience similar to the one Hennie had just over a year ago. I was extremely stressed out, and after a couple of nights of not really getting any sleep, I was convinced (for only 10-15 seconds, thankfully) that I was the last person left on the planet, and everyone else were zombies. Scariest 15 seconds of my life. I was just planning on how to lock myself in the basement of the apartment/house dealie I was living in at the time, and then I snapped back into reality.

Yeah, you all probably think I’m nuts by now. 😛

Karl October 6, 2006, 4:39 pm


At almost 47, I have been “suffering” from this condition since I was 8-9 years old. This “exploding head” syndrome was almost ALWAYS accompanied by another sleep disorder, a whole-body “hypnic Jerk” . Funny thing is, as a youngster, these episodes were quite frequent, every other day or so…… as I’ve grown older, the episodes have decreased in frequency to perhaps once or twice a month…….

LOL….I used to believe that these “episodes” were some sort of “mini” epileptic seizure…a “Mini-Mal” vs a “Grand-Mal”, if you please….

What’s kinda sad though….I remember as a 12 year-old, asking my Junior-High Health Class instructor (in front of the whole class) what these “episodes” might be. I described them as best I could, and the woman got this “tolerant” look on her face, encouraging the rest of the class to burst into laughter. But after all, where ELSE does a 12-year old go to inquire about health questions (one that does not require immediate medical treatment) ? ? ? Since then, I have kept these episodes pretty much to myself, thinking that I alone experienced this phenomonea !

Today, while researching “Sleep Apnea” (which my brother suffers from) on the internet, Lo & Behold….I find that I am *NOT* alone ! And it even has a *NAME* !

ll October 7, 2006, 8:08 pm

i have a strange buzzing in my head very often and very disturbed or no sleep and i snore terrible loudly(i am told it’s scary almost like i am struggling to breathe) any ideas?

Not Alone October 9, 2006, 12:56 pm

You’re all amazing, You have all come to the same place and found eachother and are able to learn each other experiences.

The only thing that I don’t get is that mine doesn’t corolate with stress or anything… I’m a perfectly healthy fit 21 year old girl who doesn’t have a thing to worry about… and no stress… ah well, I’m just so amazed to see so many people getting the conformation that we’re not alone.

Craig October 12, 2006, 2:25 pm

I have had these off and on in life since I was about 12. I am now 26. One very strange thing I have noticed the last year is that I only get these when I lay on my back! I cannot recall this ever happening when I sleep on my side. Crazy thing is, when I do sleep on my back, I would say that I am more than 60% likely to experience one of these things. Sometimes, although rare, I will experience several in a very short time. I am so intrigued by these (I dont experience any discomfort or fear from these) I always try to sleep on my back.

lesley October 21, 2006, 12:21 am

i have a history of anxiety as long as my arm, but the bang going off in my head as i try to get to sleep,freaks me out everynight, 4 x a night as if it was my firts, im terriffied every time it happaens, and when i go to my gp about it, they say its just nerves,

can anyone explain more to what is happening and why?

it would be very much appreciated

Lesley Scott

i need to know im not alone with this syndrome

Nadine October 21, 2006, 2:10 pm

It’s comforting to know I’m not alone

Nadine October 21, 2006, 2:44 pm

I do seem to have some of the symptoms of Exploding Head Syndrome (morbid name isn’t it?) but I haven’t experienced any of the loud gun-shot/thunder sounds or painful sensations that many other people do – I just hear a loud click.
Also this happens very rarely (it’s only ever happened 2 or 3 times before).
When it did happen, I was on the verge of falling asleep and I would see a bright flash of light that lasted a split second – along with the clicking sound. I should also mention that I have also woken up from sleep a few times because it feels a bit like the bed is shaking – “nap jerks” maybe?
I’m female, 22, healthy diet, no medical problems, never taken drugs, never smoked, rarely drink alcohol.
Something else also happened a few days ago – I was sitting at my desk (wide awake obviously) when I experienced the same white flash in my eyes and a noise in my head (except this time it wasn’t a click, it was more like a slight buzz – no pain). This sounds vaguely like EHS but I was wide awake at the time and I wasn’t under any stress. I’d like to know if anyone else has experienced anything similar whilst wide awake.
Finally, I’d like to mention something else that sounds a bit crazy and is sleep-related but has nothing to do with EHS. I was once having a nightmare where I was lying in bed in the presence of some creature that was inflicting pain in my right arm and stomach (kind of like I was being stabbed). The pain was so intense that I woke up and the pain was still there. It was almost unbearable and lasted for about 10 seconds. People who read this comment probably think I’m a bit of a nut but I would really like to know if anyone else has been through this 🙂

Andrew October 31, 2006, 11:35 pm

I get this only when I’m really tired and fall straight into a deep sleep. eg. If I get woken up in the middle of the night and go straight back to sleep it will usually happen. It always start as a swooshing noise (i can feel it too)or a zzzt noise that becomes more frequent and more intense. like zzzt……zzzzt…ZZZZZT and if I can’t wake myslef up, It becomes so intense that the noise/feeling become like a massive electric shock to my head. that wakes me instantly but Sinse the first big one I’ve usually managed to wake up.

I wish some one would do a stady on this. There is obviously plenty of people
who are suffering. I hope it goes away but from what I’ve read it seems it can stick around for good 🙁

Zihao November 3, 2006, 10:15 pm

I’ve had this for a few years…and I’m only 17 lol. It’s usually when i’m just about to fall asleep..and it happens in bursts..usually at least 3 or 4 times a night. Damn it again last night. It’s’re really tired and want to sleep..but as soon as you fall asleep you get this and wake up..damn annoying. Exploding head syndrome is a cool name for it though.

I also get something similar…where I wake up immediately afte falling asleep with the sensation that I’ve just fallen on a concrete floor from a great height…and the weird thing is my face actually physically hurts…does anyone else get this? That’s replaced my exploding head syndrome for a while but I got EHS again last night.

Hope it goes away..

Mary November 6, 2006, 6:32 pm

I have been suffering from EHS for a few years now, the *very loud explosion* type that wakes me up and fills me with fear. I posted on this website a while a go and was hoping on return that someone would have started research etc on this annoying problem.

I’m considering setting up a website on the problem where we can all combine our notes and discuss where to go with this?

Anyone think it would be a good idea?

Wendy November 8, 2006, 3:31 pm

I’m sure you’ll understand when I say I’ve been looking for an answer to this problem for a *long* time. I had Temporal Lobe Epilepsy in my teens and now 42 have been having recurring EHS for many years. Only occasionally with the bang, more often it’s the flash. So used to it now that sometimes I can ‘hold it off’if I sense the buzz – if I do this I get a strong visual hallucination. Most often mini UFOs, twinkling fairy lights, shadowmen, flowers! The hallucinations can last quite a few seconds. When it’s bad, it goes on all night until about 5 in the morning, by which time I’m exhausted.I just recently had an EEG to rule out the epilepsy…but now I know what this is, I can go and annoy my neuro with a diagnosis! I only went for a diagnosis because it has been interfering with my sleep.

I too have problems with a painful neck – think it’s called torticollis…also have deja vu frequently, spatial hallucinations when awake but tired, migraines occasionally but more often rightsided cluster headaches and palpitations with ectopic beats.

I think the EHS started after I found my mother dead of a sudden heart attack in her chair one night. Never really got over the shock.

Charlie November 13, 2006, 10:19 pm

I’ve been suffering from hypnic jerks for the last 6 yrs and have been taking a very small doze of Clonazepam to counteract the jerks, I suffer from just as I’m falling asleep. Only in the last three to four days have I expierenced this sensation quite frightening. No bangs just a buzzing and flash of light and I’m jolted awake. Dont know if this will be a nightly occurrence or something random. Going to see my neurologist next wk. Has anybody found something that relieves this sensation or is it just my tough luck and I’ve got to live with it.

Mike November 16, 2006, 12:53 pm

This is amazing, a post from 2002 that continues to receive comments. I have EHS sometimes but have discovered direct connections to late night mind-racing and gaming. Like others, I too discovered the name EHS from wikipedia, a chance link while looking at other stuff. Prior to today I didn’t know this condition had a name, and prior to coming to this website didn’t realized others suffered from this. I get the noise and muscle jerks but no light flashes. I have some abatement tips I will share below.

It never happens while I’m sleeping, only right when starting to drift off. I had a few episodes very early in life. I called these ‘pangs’. I found I could induce them by imagining a cork stuck in a faucet with the water turned on.

Much, much later, they came back, with a vengence, after playing way, way too much Dune 2000 online when I had a month of unemployment. I was scared shitless but figured the connection between the adrenaline produced by the game and decided not to play it anywhere near bedtime.

I also tend to stay up late and surf the web. I get off on mental tangents all the time and my mind will race working out new ideas or pondering possible consequences. Going to bed without a good two hours away from the computer will almost always ensure an episode. The month with Dune 2000 started it but that was years ago and episodes continue, though they have abated as I’ve discovered steps I can take to avoid or minimize episodes.

Some of the noises I have heard have been very specific: the blast of, a howizer shell from Dune 2000, the battle screen ‘retreat’ sound from Master of Orion 2. I do play the latter game on occassion even now, and the most recent episode matched the sound made from a drive failure causing a ship to explode.

Despite my game mentions the vast majority of my episodes seem due to mind-racing than late night gaming, and I rarely game anymore, but I believe the gaming started this for me. Also, the majority of noises are not from games, though those do stand out in my memory.

One time I felt an episode coming on, and managed to ‘smooth it out’, which was also weird: the bang became a rushing noise for a few seconds.

Anyway: my abatement tips. These work for me, though one led to a different condition (restless foot syndrome?)

1) avoid the computer at least an hour before bed. (If I haven’t used a computer at all that day, like if camping, I never get an episode).

2) if mind-racing, tap foot against bed. I think any physical movement will avert an episode, and foot-tapping became the choice due to ease.

3) take care when daydreaming before going to sleep. I’m talking about imagining things that help you relax. Sometimes it becomes like dreaming, and, without conscious control, the dreaming takes a sudden turn which results immediately in an episode. For example, in my last episode mentioned above, I was imagining the Master of Orion 2 game I had just been playing, and the ‘dream’ took a turn with the ping-ping-ping of an autofire Gauss cannon hitting an enemy ship, which then exploded due to engine failure (along with my head). But almost any ‘turn’ can cause me to have an episode, as simple as like imagining going thru a left door, then the dream takes over and you suddenly go thru the right door, that results in an immediate episode.

The restless foot syndrome came about as I realized how pleasurable it was for me to tap my foot on the bed. Being tired, crawling into bed and then tapping my foot has become very pleasureable for me.

These days the foot-tapping is the only abatement strategy I use. It’s natural to me now, and the episodes are very rare (maybe once in two or three weeks as opposed to almost nightly previously).

Mike November 16, 2006, 5:38 pm

Nadine wrote:

“I was once having a nightmare where I was lying in bed in the presence of some creature that was inflicting pain in my right arm and stomach (kind of like I was being stabbed). The pain was so intense that I woke up and the pain was still there. It was almost unbearable and lasted for about 10 seconds.”

There’s a small chance you’re being visitied by aliens. But more likely something stabbed you (maybe a pen or keys in a pocket?). I’ve had similar episodes when napping on a couch we had years ago. I named it ‘the nightmare couch’.

The couch had tall, stiff sides, and the length was less than my height. When I napped in it, I would sometimes stretch out, or try to, but the stiff, tall arms prevented this. In my dream, I would be choking, gasping for air, like being stranguled. It was very very unpleasant and it took a few minutes to recover when I woke up. Nowadays I will only nap in couches with soft, flat sides.

Perhaps you had some irritation, even something tiny like a feather sticking out of a featherbed, that was affecting your body. Your dreaming self interpreted this as alien surgery. Your body might have twisted itself unnaturally or jerkily to avoid this, causing the pain.

Hope that helps.

Mary November 17, 2006, 7:25 pm

I was visited by another one of those dreadfull bangs last night. I was fast asleep and “heard” the house next door explode. No more sleep for me. That’s the 3rd in a couple of weeks so I probably won’t have any more episodes for a while, thank god. My anxiety levels will retreat now, for a while at least.

steph November 21, 2006, 12:58 pm

When it happened to me I thought I was going insane. Am hugely relieved! I have just had one episode about a week ago now. I am currently under a lot of stress. No one else at home heard the bang but initially I thought I had been struck by lightning. As I awoke from the bang, I felt a sensation of huge pressure in the region of my lower back and then a tingling sensation radiating from there. My heart was thudding in my chest. I really hope it doesn’t happen again. Was the most frightening thing. At least I now know what it was.

Tim December 6, 2006, 4:16 am


What have your doctors done for you all?
My docs put me on tegretol and it has helped greatly.
Although they thought I was nuts, they tried it anyway
since I was having trouble getting enough sleep.
“It helps…r.e.a.l.l.y?” like he couldn’t believe
there was something really going on.


EnjoiYourself December 6, 2006, 5:17 pm

Thats a rather unusual phenomenon. Maybe its similar to ringing in the ears?

siri January 21, 2007, 12:20 am

don’t let this thread die …

something finaly registered when I was wakened with a loud explosive sound and lightning flash this morning that made me want to do a search on the net.

but it was not until I read this thread that I was able to connect a few things that had puzzled and annoyed me but not realy frightened me . I can’t say with certainty when I started to have EHS because I mostly ignored it, or rather put it off as I must be imagining things. ( maybe 1 year ? )

Some of it has stuck with me , like the time I woke up expecting to see a terrible impact car crash in front of my house but upon getting up and checking there was nothing there.
I did not connect the repeated occurences of being woke up by the doorbell, only to find no one there,until I read this thread, nor did I connect the occasional sound of a guitar string snapping ,of which I always tried to figure out had I heard it or had I felt it ?
all of this has always happened while I was sleeping and was awakened by it.

This morning I had woken early , was relaxing and reading still in bed, fell back to sleep ( on my side ) and was jarred awake with the loudest explosive sound and lightning flashes and after a few seconds of total confusion realized , OK ! this was completely in my head and I think I’ve had this before !

like some of you I was realy frightened and thought of stroke ,aneurysm and the like and am thankful to have found this web site to alleviate some of the fear.
I won’t even try to discuss this with my doctors since I’m worn out with years of battles trying to get proper treatment for Lyme Disease every time I’m forced to change insurance and Doctors.Talking about ignorance, I’ve had to educate all but one of my doctors on Lyme . This means I have had several bouts with encephalitis, my imune system is shot ( I am now also diabetic ) have peripheral nerve damage ,whether from lyme or diabetes ( phrenic palsy, I breathe with one lung only ) ) and yes I have had some surgeries under general anesthesia. I have also had my share of emotional stress , death of husband and father 2005, all of which may be contributing factors.

of course I’m on several meds for Diabetes including Insulin and some blood pressure medications , since I very recently have added high blood pressure to my problems. I do not smoke or drink with the exception of an occasional glass of red wine(3 or 4 times a year)and daily coffee.

In closing , just want all of you to know , your posts here gave me some insight, put it all together and alleviated the fear 🙂 because I just don’t need to add another worry to it all .


Dawna January 21, 2007, 2:20 am

Is this thread still active, EHS

Clare January 21, 2007, 4:42 pm

its comforting to know that I am not the only one! I’ve only had it once, a huge explosion noise and flashing light in my head whilst dropping off to sleep – I thought i’d had a seizure or something so am relieved by finding this thread!

Clare (in England)

Debbie Winn January 22, 2007, 4:30 pm

I have suffered this for the second time in December, now occurs mostly every night, a loud bang, followed by further bangs, tapering off in sound, been to 3 doctors and today a ENT consulant all never heard of it, and consultant says I probably know more than him (great news at a cost of £120) for consultation.
He now says he will send me to a sleep clinic,(cant`t really see the point)

The way I deal with it is to sometimes take a sleeping tablet, (not herbal) and use ear plugs, at least the sound is muffled and I have managed to sleep throught the night for the last 3 nights which is amazing.

If anybody can offier further help would be appreciated, by the way I have never taken drugs, don`t smoke and drink wine occasionally.

Sebastian January 22, 2007, 10:49 pm

I have just recently had one of these “attacks” and immediately searched the internet and got here through wikipedia as most of you have.

I decided to nap in between classes so I went to my dorm room to nap and as I was dozing off I heard a huge explosion, like that of a bomb dropping, and was then followed by a loud rumble which caused me to believe that our city had been nuked or that I was in an earthquake.
The part that was especially frightening was that all the while I knew I was in my bed and I struggled to open my eyes and get to cover or something but I couldn’t move at all. I felt as if I were paralyzed. It took me a couple minutes to wake up and reassure myself that we didn’t get nuked. I hope this doesn’t happen again when I go to bed tonight..

Sebastian January 22, 2007, 11:26 pm

I have just recently had one of the “attacks” and immediateley searched the internet and got here through wikipedia as most of you have.

I decided to nap in the middle of the day and began to doze off when I heard a huge explosion. It was tremendous, and was followed by a violent rumble. My first thought was that my city got nuked or that I was in a horrible earthquake and was going to die.

The part that was especially frightening was that all the while I wanted to wake up and get out of bed to find out what was going on or get to cover or something, but I couldn’t move at all. I was paralyzed stiff in my bed, and I wanted to yell but I couldn’t. I still feel a little shaky from the whole experience. I hope I don’t have to go through all that again tonight…

magggie January 23, 2007, 3:17 am

Well thank God I finally found found that I am not loseing my mind.
I also will get these “Head Noises”.
They seem to happen just as I am falling into a deep sleep or dozing off.
They have been a loud snap, or bang, or sometimes a knocking, which when I go to door , you guessed it, no one there.
These sounds will waken me, and I feel shaken, liked I had been scared, no flashing lights, just sound. Months ago I looked it up on internet and found site, but I also cannot find it again.
From what I can remember about site this is not abnormal. I do have sinus problems and am not sure if this is related,
If any one that is having these noises has sinus problems we may have found reason, please respond, I am very curious to see just how common or uncommon this is

Rachel L. January 28, 2007, 5:39 am

I have been suffering with this for many years, but only on an average of once a month. It has become much more frequent and after it happened almost every night this week. Yesterday I finally decided I needed to do some research.

It took me less than 5 minutes to find out what I have. Then I had to go through all the information to see if anyone had experienced some of the same things I had. That took a little more time…

I was worried because on all the web pages I looked at, all it talked about was the “gunshot noise.” Yes, I have that … but I have “weirder” symptoms…

THANK GOODNESS for this forum AND that it has been going on for 5 years!!! I have read every post and I am so glad I am not alone.

I have the loud noise, sometime I hear a buzzer, sometimes it is like a telephone (a LOUD ring that lasts just a second) MANY TIMES I hear my name being called out sharply – sometimes it is a voice I recognize and sometimes not (THANK GOD I am not alone on that one) … Sometimes I have pain with it and sometimes not. Sometimes I feel like my bed is shaking. Sometimes I am half asleep and other times I feel as if I was awoken from a deep sleep. Many times I awaken feeling like my heart is going to pound out of my chest … sometimes I am so scared I have to turn a light on because I am afraid there is a monster in my room (and I am 33) heehee 😉 – A lot of times the episode brings on a depression.

Someone else mentioned fibromyalgia. I have CFS and fibro … there may very well be a connection because those syndrome prevent you from achieving REM sleep … I don’t know. I also have high blood pressure, depression and suffer from migraines/severe headaches (and I’m only getting personal so that we can somehow figure out a correlation)

EARLY (around 4:30) it happened and since I found out yesterday it was EHS, I didn’t feel as scared. I said, “Oh my head just exploded” So then I tried to go back to sleep and 5 minutes later I was just dozing off and it happened again (the 2nd time it was more like a growl) That scared me a little because I was not expecting it again so soon! … Why is it happening more now? I really wish I had answers.

Neon January 30, 2007, 2:44 am

This happens to me approx once a month.

It is always a loud bang, accompanied by a very bright flash of light behind the eyelids.

It always happens when drifting towards sleep.

It freaked me out last night.

It has always been a white flash, pure white.

Last night it was a light scarlet color.

It had never changed color before. I looked it up tonight, and am glad to see that it is common, and not harmful

Nick Oner January 31, 2007, 7:15 pm

okay, i’m open to both the physiological and the “spiritual” sides of this question. although, the paranormal is just more fun to talk about. so:

< >Have any of you experienced Shadowmen at anytime in your lives?
Shadowmen (dark blobs or dark figures)
**yes. usually during extended periods of sleep-deprivation, but not necessarily. sometimes drug induced… but I’ve had one prominant experience that occured when i was like 10 years old. i was looking out near a high-concentration of power-lines and saw a bunch of little elfish creatures dancing around. made entirely out of shadow. creeped me out. i still remember that….werid..

>>Have any of you had surgery under a General Anesthetic prior to the EHS?
**no, but i used to do a lot of DXM and Ketamine (which are both dissociative anathetics). lights go off around me much more frequently since i abused DXM. haven’t touched the stuff in years though….

< >Are you open to paranormal believes or religious/spiritual believes?
**agnostic to the core. i’ll read and read and make my own decision. the dream world is the final frontier.

>>Do they happen more in the middle of the month?
**never noticed. maybe they’re related to the lunar cycle. lol.

>>Are you aware of your surroundings during this bang, or do you have to come into reality and focus into an awakeness first?
** i usually know that i was trying to go to sleep a second or two after it happens. there is a shift though.

>>Are you prone to insomnia?
**mildly. comes and goes. but when i sleep. i SLEEP. i have important work to do in the dream-world.

Maria February 1, 2007, 6:47 pm

I relate to virtually all the symptoms described on this website: pistol shots
metal gongs, silent surges in my head, once a huge explosion before I was at all sleepy, with this big one came a flash of light which fully lit the darkened room! I have also had voices – not personal to me, more like someone switching on a radio in my head for a brief moment. Voices are *NOT* talking to me. The worst sound was a shriek (prolonged) of someone or something in pain.
These things happen as I am relaxing into sleep and I find them very disturbing.
I have had this from time to time for some years, but recently after a very stressful time, I gave myself very intense and concentrated Reiki, concentrating on my head and lower spine. This is when the manifestations become chronic (every night). Along with them, came vibrations in my body, shaking episodes during day and night. Sensation of a ball of heat rolling up from my sacral area to my head, and all manner of strange effects. I really felt very ill and was unable to function at all for a few weeks. Also very scared. A yoga friend suggested that I had accidentally awakened Kundalini – I shall keep an open mind.
The past two nights I have gained some relief from exercising my neck and shoulders before going to bed. You might like to give it a go – my neck gave out some pretty impressive `cracks’ and `creaks’ and I believe the exercises may release tension/energy that has accumulated during the day – particularly if there has been stress.
Shrug your shoulders gently up to your ears, roll them backwards and forwards (shoulders NOT ears!) Elongate your neck ( gently pull out to make a long relaxed neck and then roll your head all the way round and back again. Be gentle. You’ll probably hear quite a few `snaps’,`pops’ and `cracks’. If you sleep on your side try to keep the *BACK*of the neck extended ( chin curled down towards chest).
This may help someone with the problem. I do hope so because I know how dreadfully frightening these things are.

Maxine February 1, 2007, 8:33 pm

I have had the “Big Bang” experience off and on for many many years now. I also found out I have a tumor growing in my parotid gland. But supposedly their is no connection.

These bangs affect me as I am falling asleep. They are very loud and startling! Glad I’m not alone

Yvonne February 7, 2007, 9:25 pm

I am very happy to find that I am not crazy or something. I have had the sounds in my head for years. Usually I hear a telephone ring but when I wake up it not ringing and my husband and dog are still snoring away. Last night I had the gun shot and since I live in a rural area I was immediatley awake wanting to know who was shooting around my house. My guard-dog was still laying there snoring so I knew it was a new head sound. I got up and realized I had a headache so I took some aspirin and went back to sleep. I woke up 8 hours ago and I still have the headache and can hardly stay awake. I was begining to worry that I had had a tumor explode in my head. I’m glad to see that I am just “not” normal.

Yvonne February 7, 2007, 9:27 pm

By the way—I am always in a deep sleep when mine happen.

Gary Kay February 26, 2007, 12:52 am

I have had the EHS affliction for several years, and have posted occaionally on this site.
A few comments:

A few postings back, someone suggested that they wanted to start a website devoted to this issue (EHS)…great idea…I hope you do it. That might garner some attention from the medical community, and that just might spur someone to do some legitimate research on this phenomenom that affects so many of us.

More often than not it hits me when I’m sleeping on my back..especially the most intense experiences. if it happens when I’m sleeping on my side, the experiences are far less intense, the sound not as alarming, and best of all, when I tun over on the over side, that is usually the end of it.

I’ve also noticed over the years that the sound/intensity varies….From an atsonishing loud scary “explosion” (the first thought was a nuclear explosion), to a softer metallic-type grinding sound.

Wouldn’t it be grand if some medical professional would research this.

Hope you’re all coping OK. At least we know (I think) that it’s benign.

Take care…

Samantha W. February 28, 2007, 3:06 am

Hi Guys & Girls,

I’m not sure if I have EHS or not. Can someone please let me know what they think? I usually get these strange sensations during the day, when I’m wide awake. They do seem to be related to stress, although not always. I will be sitting or standing somewhere, and I’ll feel like there is something inside my head pulling me to one side, I’ll even jerk sometimes or move quickly to the side, as if an electric shock is pushing me over. These movements are involuntary, I don’t mean to make them. Sometimes I’ll cry out and i”ll look around and be surprised that no one else felt the pull like I did. I do not feel pain, except for a slight headache sometimes.

Sometimes I feel as if my head, my thoughts, have been paralyzed, and I’ll feel like I’m on “pause” in my brain.

It’s strange, I don’t usually have pain, just a feeling of being “out of control” and not able to think properly for just a few seconds and then it will pass.

Does anyone out there have similar symptoms to me?


Judy February 28, 2007, 5:35 pm

I just found this site. I have had EHS for over 30 years. Sometimes it is the loud gunshot or firecracker, sometimes sounds like a huge picture window shatters. Only happens as I just fall off to sleep, never while I am awake or in a deep sleep. One thing I do that I didn’t see anyone mention, I scream out when it happens, and scares the crap out of my husband. When my grandaughter and her friend were spending the night, I heard her tell her friend, “If you hear grandma scream, don’t worry it is only her head exploding.”

In answer to so many people asking if anyone is studying this, the answer is yes. Dr. Joel R. Saper, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.A.N. (founder and director) He is at the Michigan Head and Pain and Neurological Institute, 3120 Professional Drive, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104-5131 phone 1-734-677-6000

He says in communication with me “One of the thoughts that seems plausible is that it has something to do with the hearing mechanism, perhaps a snapping of the tympanic membrane or the Eustacian tube which equalizes pressure from the throat into the ear”.

Kathy March 1, 2007, 8:23 am

I’m glad to join the “club”! Am 52 and have had this sporadically for years over 35 years, but never really told anyone. I figured it was minor strokes or brain bleeds and that I’d eventually die from it. It happened again 3 nights ago. The first time, I laid there trying to convince myself I wasn’t having a stroke. Then about 5 minutes later I had a second one and contemplated going to the ER; after the 3rd one I got up and took my blood pressure, it was 88/49 and pulse was 99. Within a few minutes bp was 105/60 and pulse was 64 which is my normal. Now after reading these pages, I see I had lots of the triggers–stress (just laid of several people in my group at work), I’d had lots of caffiene that day, and I was very tired… Amazingly, I took a 1/4 ambien cr and lived to tell about it.

I just stumbled on this tonight looking for loud noises when falling asleep. I figured I was having seizures in the temporal lobe and didn’t want to have to say that word to my doctor–don’t want to lose my driver’s license.

What’s interesting to me it that I have congenital hearing loss, small eustachean tubes, benign vertigo. I’ve also had surgeries for trapped ulnar nerve (twice in the same elbow) and thorasic outlet syndrome. I have other undiagnosed neurological symptoms–many tests but all “negative”.

I think I’ll sleep better tonight knowing I am not alone, and that it’s likely just another benign syndrome!

Good Luck to all!

Rob March 7, 2007, 2:06 am

I’ve read that EHS is not triggered by dreams. However, the two times this has happened to me it was. The first dream my mother shot herself. Last night my daughter was shot. I woke screaming and I felt like I’d been electricuted.
The sound is amazingly loud.

lee March 7, 2007, 3:37 am

I am glad I found this site…thx…tho’t I was alone. I’m 55 and had these episodes(big bangs and light) for about a year…i think…yet possibly longer since I can actually remember having a horrible night terror at age 20 when pregnant and tho’t I had died…saw light and judgement day etc…
Just this morning (4:30) I had an episode like I’m shot in the head literally(except without the pain). I knew I’d had it before with the loud bang, flash like lightning and same strange scared feeling. I was fast asleep and on my right side. I wake up crying out and heart pounding! When it happens I believe I’ve died…just a blank strange feeling or like one guy described ‘my brain locks or stops’ or a paralyzing feeling…but very quick. I can’t go back to sleep for a long time…wake up my husband…afraid to go back to sleep bec’ I’m afraid I am going to have an aneurism or stroke and die.
I have similar symptoms as others…terrible anxiety…stressed out…high metabolism…low blood pressure…very bad insomnia…was diagnosed at one time with fibromyalgia (the catch all)…tightness in neck and shoulders constantly but worse during pressure changes (air travel or bad weather)…in stress situations migraines with auras severe pain nausea vomiting…bouts of debilatating muscle spasms in back during very stressful times…always had motion sickness…tinnitus occasionally(i think)…wake easily need white noise(fan)…pins and needles every nite(tho’t it was my bed)…always had bad nightmares…additionally I have TMJ…and in last 2 years or so tremors in hands while holding glass with liquid and in legs of late (sitting) and my chin or jaw on occasion. I’m actually in good health not overweight never smoked (second hand…) no drugs not even prescribed (other than fosamax) drink only occasionally no surgeries or anesthesia 3 natural child births. Would be interested in study or more info or related episodes. Hope all are coping. Not looking forward to sleep…correction…would love to sleep :} …just not have another episode…Lee

Patricia March 8, 2007, 4:50 am

I’ve been having these episodes for about four months now — every night, many, many times before I manage to get past the drifting stage and fall asleep. It’s terrifying! I have epilepsy and a heart condition that I have taken meds for, for years. I’m wondering if the meds might be catching up with me. I get the banging sound most nights but sometimes will get a strong sensation of electricity across my skin and sometimes in my body. It can make me dizzy and sick feeling. I have seen a neurologist and cardiologist and none of them have any idea what it could be. I don’t understand how this has been missed and ignored by the medical community for so long since there seem to be a number of us with it.
I have another appointment with my general practitioner soon and hope he might send me to a doctor who has some ideas as how to help me — us! We shouldn’t have to live and stay awake with this every night. Right now I should be in bed but I’m to afraid to try to sleep. It has been crazy but it is good to know that I’m not alone and not crazy. Thanks to you all. You’ll be in my thoughts.

Kathy March 8, 2007, 12:04 pm

I’ve had the loud sounds and electrical stabs before, but this doorbell ringing going off in my ears has got to stop.

It is becoming more frequent, been too embarassed to tell my husband but finally did.

It’s 4 am I’m too scared to go back to sleep in the event “my doorbell is ringing”.

I do hav ealot of health problems, grand mal seizures and vertigo is one of them is all I can think that could relate to this.But I read that MS can have signs like this.
If so, I do have an autoimmune disorder does anyone here know a connection?
Many thanks in advance,
Best of luck to all,

Jan March 9, 2007, 5:04 am

I have been experiencing “explosions” but they are not near my head. The last two, while asleep in bed, were at my heart, outside my body but next to my skin. It physically jolted me in the bed but I laid there in the same position on my side with my heart racing afterwards. Took me a minute to realize that I had not been shot, or that no explosion had occured so close to my body. Immediately thought I was or should be dead. No pain with it and I was aware of being able to calmly take deep breaths to settle down my heart beating so fast. Had one other explosion that occured at my back directly behind my waist while sleeping. Neither of these ever seem to touch me, but feel like they are only a 1/2″ away from my body and about 10″ in round shaped diameter. Maybe no larger than a soccer ball size. Obviously wakes me up. Not like the normal sense of an object exploding with fragments flying. Just the explosion, incredibly loud and intense. Seems louder than a door slamming near me.

Debbie Winn March 12, 2007, 9:25 pm

This is my second write up, still suffering every night since December, my Doctor sent to me the ENT consultant (he had no idea who to send me to as he had never heard of it until I pointed him in the direction of the internet) I had to explain the symptons to the consultant who said he agreed with my doctor`s internet findings `auditory sleep starts`but “exploding head syndrome” sounded much more interesting!! He suggested some people think it might be due to spasmodic contraction of the middle ear muscles but he is pretty certain this cannot be the case as the sound generated by middle ear myoclonus is quite different from this, auditory sleep starts are regarded as a neurological sleep disorder,he said to me that from my research I probably knew more about the condition than he did!!! all this at a cost of £150.00 and I came out none the wiser. I did however get a hearing test and he said my hearing was excellent.
Went back to another of my GP`s and he said to be honest it`s one of those things and we can`t treat you, He looked at my notes and suggested another course of clopramine (anti depressant) to dull down the central nervous system he said they are used for nerve pain and he thinks that this is a type of nerve problem without the pain. my other Doctor had given me a week`s supply, I have now got one months supply and am going back next month probably for another wasted journey. I still use earplugs every night to try and muffle the sound but I know as soon as my head hits the pillow it will start before I even drift off the sleep. It`s a bit like chinese water torture and I am shattered from lack of sleep.

Jack March 21, 2007, 3:05 pm

I have had this a couple of times. It has never been a burden, just an oddity. My experience has been an electrical zap, like a short circuit or something, no pain, just the sound in the back of my head. I also have a condition called Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis, which is a genetic disorder affecting my muscles. It is a channelopathy (see links below). I wonder if anyone else has similiar conditions or symptoms of HKPP or other Channelopathys?

sylvia March 26, 2007, 7:35 am

I know I have this, I have asked other people if they had this happen to them and I usually get a confused look. I am just glad it is not serious! Has anyone had a mild version without the bang but wake up jittery and freaked out. I don’t have the bang every night just sometimes, but I do the end result of being really shaky and my heart pounding just before I get into a deep sleep. I also have panic attacks to begin with and I was wondering if there has been any conection to anxiety disorders and ehs?

lee March 30, 2007, 11:34 pm

This is my second response.
I guess I am fortunate because since I last wrote I have only had one more occurrence 2 nites ago. This time it was still a deep sleep but ringing (instead of loud bang) with the light and I wasn’t as frightened when I woke up. My heart was racing but I was able to realize what was happening…maybe because of being made aware of others having this my mind was more attuned or informed… 😉 I was able to think about it and calm myself down and go back to sleep. I’m still thinking this has something to do with tinnitus and inner ear and the tension in neck and head area????

Constantly tuning in to this site to attempt to understand more, Lee

PS My son-in-law says he’s had something similar but was like another person related – a part of his dream … his uncle came around the corner (in his dream) and pointed a shot gun in his face and pulled the trigger…he heard the very loud bang and flash of light but no pain…thought he was dead then woke up with heart racing and in a sweat. (Lots of variations makes you wonder if all are related) he has tinnitus at times as well

Marie April 8, 2007, 8:00 pm

It’s great to finally find out a bit more on this syndrome.
I have had it for over twenty years and it used to bother me a lot. I never mentioned to a doctor but a former neighbour also had it, which made me feel less like a freak.
I get the gunshots in the head, the electrical zap noise, and the flashes of light. There is no pain associated with an episode. I too, as have others, had neck problems and wonder if that has anything to do with it.
It always happens if I nod off while sitting up in bed reading at night. Don’t remember ever having it in the daytime though one may not notice it so much with all the day to day noise around.
I first heard the term EHS used by a doctor from a sleep clinic being interviewed on radio. He only mentioned it in passing but I immediately knew exactly what he meant and was stunned to realise it had a name.
It seems after visiting this site, that it is very common indeed, and I’m feeling a little deflated as I thought it must be quite rare.

Julie April 11, 2007, 9:02 am

Hi, I personally find these head explosions incredibly painful. Mine are more like an electrical surge than a gunshot. I’ve noticed that mine happen between an hour to an hour and a half into sleeping. I find when they are happening I have to fight my brain to wake up which often causes sleep paralysis, another terrifying thing! I also have had neck problems from whiplash and some anxiety issues after taking endep for neck pain. I find when these head explosions occur I completely tense up in my face and neck. There’s often a loud piercing noise that goes with them. The only thing that has stopped my head explosions is to take a small dose of valium before sleeping. I had two afternoon naps the other week because I was sick and both occasions I had the head explosions, which I think was due to not taking valium just before sleeping. However I know valium is not something you can go on long term but I’m terrified to sleep without them, ahhhhh, I don’t know what to do!! But it’s nice to hear I’m not alone, just wish someone had some answers.

Gemma East April 14, 2007, 7:43 pm

Was speaking to my mum over dinner this evening and she was describing how she woke up to hear an extremely loud crashing of cymbols in her ears and then felt like she had pins and needles all over her body for several seconds and her whole body went numb and she couldnt move. She had never experienced anything like this before and was absolutely terrified, she says thought she was going to die. She has been quite stressed recently. I looked her symptoms up on Google and found this site and Im pleased to say it has reassured her no end.
It has taught me a lot as well and I think that it is a fascinating condition although I hope it doesnt happen to me ever!

Marc April 14, 2007, 9:21 pm

I personally(last night anyway) experience a sound more like static, like when you put a data cd in a cd player and try to listen to it, you get a strange jumble of digital noise. This unusual static suddenly seemed to come from the middle of my brain. I had to shake my head a little to stop the sound. When it dissipated, it almost blended into the sound of some leaky pipes in the next room(The pipes have water running thru them 24/7). I often hear what sounds like a radio or tv just out of earshot while trying to sleep, like i can hear the sound, but cannot find the source. Occasionally i will hear what sounds like the phone ringing or my name being called, but again, there is no real sound.

The particular effect of the sound seeming to come from the head reminds me very much of an experience i had involving diffferent psychoactive substances. Under the influence, a cd i enjoy very much seemed to come from my head as i was listening to it. This sensation of suddenly realizing the sound is in me instead of outside was at that time quite astonishing and interesting, and i proceeded to have visions of robots reinforcing my brain with metal plates.

Now, my own thoughts on the cause of the phenom are not definite. After the digital-esque noise of last night, i thought perhaps the brain is picking up radio/satellite interference and attempting to decode it as audio signals(or visual for those who experience such). I realize that i am simply speculating and my prior drug use takes away from my credibility, but i thought i’d like to share my thoughts none-the-less. Anyone else getting this digital-noise?

karin April 21, 2007, 6:27 pm

Any pain for anyone? I’ve had T for years. This past year the different types of EHS mentioned in the posts. I am writing this time cause last night heard the loudest noise like a distored cell phone really loud at the right ear. I think it was actually painful but I didn’t wake. I remember dreaming about a phone of some kind and whenever i raised it to my ear, the noise happened. I woke just enough to think my phone was ringing and distorted and LOUD. I checed it in the morning. no calls. Mostly I am used to the strange EHS but this was different cause I at least percieved pain in my ear and didn’t wake from it completely so felt like I couldn’t make it stop. I woke earlier from cramp pains and took 2 ibroprofen and when I went back to bed after. Any comments on this one please?? esp about the pain – could it have just been a very lucid dream or ehs that conjured up the dream and i was too tired to wake? (which would be very unusual – Im a light sleeper most of the time)

Kate April 23, 2007, 8:40 am

Another sufferer here.

I only started experiencing this about a year ago and it really frightened me to the point that I dread night-time. I still worry about night-time even though I know they are harmless.

Years ago my Grandma used to complain about the loud bang in her head. The whole family thought she was crazy, including me I guess.

It only dawned on me after I learnt what was happening to me that it must have been what was happening to Grandma as well. I feel really sad that I cannot tell her I know she wasn’t crazy. 🙁

Is there a support group? website? for us. I have considered starting one for sufferers.

Kate 🙂

Debbie Winn April 24, 2007, 12:58 pm

This is my third posting, still happening almost every night, last night must have had a 60 shotgun bangs, woke me up about 6 times during the night then the bangs are in groups of about 10. went back to the Doctor this one doesn`t think I`m mad.!!! makes a nice change from the funny looks I got from the others.
My Doctor has now prescribed Tegretol which is a drug for epilepsy, as this condition is to do with nerve receptors to the brain, I think this drug dulls down the nervous system, apparently this disorder is neurological,some people have nerve pain, neuralga, this appears to be a variation, it is just without the pain, anyway one good thing is that due to it happening virtually every night I have managed to control the heart racing only because I am used to it,it is still driving me mad thought from lack of sleep, my Doctor has given me a months supply,of tablets and then he said if it doesn`t work, he will send me to a neuorologist, somehow from reading other posting on this site, I don`t think I will get anywhere it is just something we have to learn to live with and hope it subsides.
with ref to Kate`s posting if you start a support group I will join.

Gary Kay May 3, 2007, 4:31 am

I’ve posted several times over the years. I’m subject to extreme terrorizing bouts of EHS. I’m 62. A recent change….up until now, the attacks only occurred with extreme intensity when I have been sleeping on my back. A few nights ago I had 2 powerful hits while sleeping on my side. The raises the anxiety level in that there is now no ‘safe’ position in which to sleep. When I get ’em big…they are really big. Gigantic overwhelming explosions that conjure up thoughts of nuclear explosion….totally terrifying.

I would gladly participate in any website or study/research group that will try to come up with some answers. I’ve had a catscan, brain scan, visit with a neurologist, and have learned absolutely nothing other than what I have found from this site and on the web. There has got to be some medical professional who will take this on….if so…I’ll help.

Julie May 7, 2007, 5:47 am

Hi Gary,
I found an article a couple of months ago written by the guy who came up with the term exploding head syndrome. I printed it out but I can’t find it again so I’ll just type it out below. The only thing that has helped me with these insane head explosions is to take 2 mg of diazepam half n hour before bed. It might only be a band aid solution but when they get so intense, which yours appear to be, it is such a relief to know that I can sleep without getting them.

Exploding Head Syndrome- Dr. J.M.S. Pearce

Unruly teenagers are not the only cause of terrifying loud noises which occur while falling asleep.

CLINICAL HISTROY- A 43 year old woman was seen with a 5-month history of a noise in her head. On an almost nightly basis, as she was falling asleep, she would hear a loud noise like “electrical current running” lasting a second. Sometimes her whole body would shake for a second afterwards. Very occasionally, she would have an associated flash of light. Frequently, a second episode of the loud noise would occur shortly after the first. She could then fall asleep without any problem. Her past medical history was positive only for hypertension controlled with medication. Neurological examination was normal. Diasnostic testing was not performed.

This description of a momentary loud noise on falling asleep is characteristic of the disorder I named the exploding head syndrome. This harmless but alarming condition is common, but reported by patients only rarely. It occurs only in the twilight stages of sleep, when falling asleep or, less often, on awakening. It is usually a terrifyingly loud noise, lasting for a split second. There are no accompaniments other than the acute anxiety and palpitations that succeed it. In some patients, myoclonic jerks of the limbs or a visual flash of lightning accompany the sound, as in this instance.
Weir Mitchell may have been describing this phenomenon when referring to “sensory shocks… a feeling of rending… a bolt driven through the head.” Armstrong-Jones described a frequent complaint of a sudden crash or noise as if something had given way in the brain. Oswald described “a flash of light accompanied by a violent bang” with “a sense of alarm, together with a cold sweat, laboured breathing and tachycardia.”
The dramatic nature is evident in patients’ words: “an enourmous roar, so loud it could kill me”; some, however, say that it can be mild and infrequent. The terror induced is often the most worrying feature, until some degree of acceptance is achieved after many years in which they have maintained good health. Preceding events are generally unremarkable, but some have noted attacks to start and to recur when they were under personal stress or tired and overworked.
The onset is variable; some start in childhood, but no decade is spared. However, the most common age of onset is in middle and old age. The pattern of episodes of explosions is also variable. Some report two or four attacks followed by prolonged or total remission; others have more frequent attacks, up to seven in 1 night for several nights each week, and may then remit for several months, for reasons largely unknown. Some sufferers describe associated symptoms. About 10% report a simultaneous flash of light; 5 % report a curious sensations as if they have stopped breathing and had to make a deliberate effort to breath again- “an uncomforatble gasp.”
The condition is physiological. Investigations for a causative cerebal lesion are inveriably fruitless and unnecessary. The most important aspect is to reassure the sufferer that it is a well-recognised and characteristic symptom and that it is totally harmless. Drug treatment is no indicated.
As we fall asleep, the neuronal activity in the brain stem reticular formation subsides. This, in turn, switches off the motor, sensory, visual, and auditory parts of the cerebral hemispheres. The basis of the exploding head syndrome is postulated to be a delay in selected areas of the reticular fromation in switching off, and a paroxysm of neuronal activity is manifest by these alarming experiences, be they myoclonus, loud noise, or a flash of light.

Christie May 7, 2007, 10:04 pm

Hello, I have had EHS for years also. Is anyone finding a correlation between a little forgetful for a word and also the scalp feel a little lumpy as if the brain is shrinking? I am 49 years old and as you get older that does occur, but I mean that you can actually feel indentations?

Daniel S May 14, 2007, 3:07 pm

Hey everyone.

The other night, when I was just about to fall asleep, I felt this really loud exploding sound in the center of my head. I searched the internet and found it to be called “Exploding Head Syndrome”.

Just to contribute to the info;

I’m a 23 year-old male.
I’m constantly in deep thoughts.
I’m really sensible and emotional.
I’m a perfectionist with symptoms reminding of OCD , Bipolar Disorder.
I’m used to stress and anxiety.

When I had the explosion, I had been particulary stressed, and been up for 24 h playing a computergame most of that time. I had also consumed some caffeine.

My intuitive thought is, that the “explosion” is in some aspect, a way for the brain to relieve mental / physiological tension.

Jose Osio May 15, 2007, 4:15 pm

Mi hijo de 44 me reporta sufrir de cefalea con aura desde hace 4 meses. Tambien la experiencia de sentir una explosión interna en la cabeza acompañada de destellos luminosos y un gran ruido creciente que termina en la sensación de potente explosion dentro de la cabeza.
El estaba asustado por creer que perdía la razón. los testimonios que leyó aqui le aliviaron en el sentido de desechar la idea de locura.

Me dice que previo al primer incidente sufrió de laberintitis lo cual hace pensar en una secuela de tal afección.

Agradeceria cualquier recomendacion profesional para su tratamiento , en especial la cefalea que no le abandona ni responde a tratamiento.

My son of 44 reports me to suffer of migraine with aura for 4 months. Also the experience of feeling an internal explosion into the head accompanied by luminous gleams and a great growing noise that finishes in the sensation of potent explosion inside the head.
He was scared to believe that it lost the reason. the testimonies that he read here alleviated him in the sense of discarding the idea of madness.

he tells me that it foresaw to the first incident it suffered of laberintitis that which makes think of a sequel of such an affection.

he would thank any professional recommendation for their treatment, especially the migraine that doesn’t abandon him neither he responds to treatment.

Beth May 21, 2007, 5:13 am

I don’t get the loud bang, i get more of a sound that reminds me of an electrical impulse being shorted sometimes it more of a zapping sound. This has been going on about 3 years since I was 27. I also get this at anytime of the day whether or not I am falling asleep. Although at bedtime it does seem to be more loud, maybe thas just because its more quiet. I also get a weird sensation that i feel during these episodes. Has anyone else expierenced this. Thanks for any input

Debbie Winn May 25, 2007, 6:01 pm

This is my fourth write-up, following my bout in December, I have had the gunshots/metal clanging every night since ,sometimes up to 80 times a night, which was literally doing my head in and left me shattered during the day, anyway I now have a sympathetic doctor who has given me epilepsy tablets which I now take every night just before I go to sleep, and to my amazement I have slept through the night for the last week, and I feel absolutely fantastic, it`s definetley worth a try for you fellow sufferers, the tablets are Carbamazepine and I take 2 x 100 mg every night, a miracle as far as I am concerned. You may have to juggle the dose as my Doctor said take one in the morning and one at night and for me this didn`t work. Anyway it`s worth giving it a go.

Alex June 3, 2007, 12:57 pm

Yep, carbamazepine works for me too – I have 400mg prescribed for a different condition – if I take the whole dose at night (it’s supposed to be 200mg morning and night but that doesn’t work)it completely eliminates EHS. The only time it occurs now is if I doze off during the day (so I don’t – my boss is impressed!!). Have to say, it really is bloody horrible and frightening (I’ve always imagined thousands of brain cells getting zapped each time) and it was something of a relief to find this thread.

Joanna June 18, 2007, 12:32 am

This morning, for the first time, I experienced what all of you have gone through. First the bang – then the electrical shock through my head – then the banging of my heart. I was pretrified!! Two days before I was put on digitalis for Atrial Fibrillation in conjunction with another medication. I thought for sure it was an interaction with the meds. Hopefully, because of all of you, I will not be afraid to go to bed tonight. Thanks a heap!!!

Linda June 18, 2007, 6:39 am

I have had that for the last few years. Even with carbamazepine and depakote. When I was put on Seroquel, which is for hallucinations, the exploding head episodes completely stopped.

TJ June 20, 2007, 12:45 am

I’ve had EHS for a year now & find it very uncomfortable & annoying. Mine is due to depression. I’ve been taking Zoloft, an antidepressant, for a month now. So far, the Zoloft is working nicely for my EHS.

Denise June 20, 2007, 12:49 am

I’m so glad I found this site. I thought there was something terribly wrong with me when they first started. My latest one happened two nights ago. I think mine definately has to do with stress. I had received a phone call earlier that day, that my brother had been in a car accident and it didn’t look like he was going to make it. It turned out to be “mistaken identity”, if you can belive that, but the damage was done. You know that feeling you get when something is wrong, that feeling of dread, I think it does something to your nerves, well I think that’s what brought this one on.
I get a big bang, like someone slamming a door really really hard, and I also get a quick bright flash of light, like lightning. And once they start, if I keep my eyes closed but move them or blink, I usually will have another bang. Does anyone else have this happen when you move your eyes?
I also had never told anyone about this because it sounds so ridiculous, but I finally said something to my husband the other day, and he thinks I should go to a neurologist. I showed him this site, he couldn’t believe that other people hve this happen.
By the way, I’m 48, female, and have had them for years.

Brian June 24, 2007, 7:50 pm

Some but, not all of you seems to think this if funny, I do not. I also have a similar symptom but it is not a bang its more of a electrical jolt. This symptom is a sudden, severe and sometimes mild bolt or jolt and buzzing noise my in head and sometimes traveling to different parts of my body. It happens repeating itself some time’s the savear ones feel as if some has stuck a cattle prod or hit me in the back of the neck with a bat and my vision dims, this happen in a milli second and then disappears. On the other hand, sometimes it’s like thumping jolts that are random moving around. Usually on the left side of my face or body. I have no idea what’s going on and I have told several doctors. Them seem bewildered, and suggest it could be a side effect of Lexapro. One doctor said it could be the brain adjusting to the anti-depression meds. , Re-adjusting or neurotransmitters are miss firing. I have no idea but is worries the hell out of me because, I have a fear of these mini buzzing and zaps that feel like mini black outs. I fear it could actually cause me to black out while driving and then who knows what could happen. I could kill someone’s baby, and I do not think I could handle that. I can relate to Cheryl’s symptoms, when she states “It had slowly progressed from the occasional ‘zap’ now and then, to every night. The zap starts as a soft buzzing noise travelling from one ear to the other (or so it seems), too becoming louder and louder, until I think my eardrums and head will explode”. The symptoms, which are very similar, especially when she states”soft buzzing noise travelling from one ear to the other” but my buzzing travels everywhere from my head to my body, but I do not have the hallucinations. Anyway, enough of my problems but, if any one has any feed back or heard of this type of symptom I would be thankful. I know it does not sound as scary as EHS, but it is the closest thing and the only web site that I could relate too. In addition, its sound like some of your may understand how I feel, because the symptoms are very similar. My symptoms do not wake me up but its at its strongest upon awaking and has cause me to fall once. Then I will not have any of these symptoms for weeks, but it will return and not knowing when or how strong it may be. Sometimes I think I am literally going nuts. Any advice, HELP!


Yianna June 26, 2007, 12:24 am

I haven’t read all of the posts so i am unsure as to wether anyone else has mentioned this…

When i experience this, its not just a bang but i can also hear loud shouting, as if someones shouting in my ear. Take the other day for example, i hadnt eaten much all day so when i had drank alchohol i got a bit too tipsy and went to bed feeling a bit dizzy… i had the television on and could hear music just as i was falling to sleep, i could hear a sort of shouting noise, but it was much louder then the song in the background as if it was against my ear, yet it was going with the song rhythmn as if it was part of the song…it woke me up and i listened to the song for a couple of seconds to see if the shouting was coming from the television and it wasn’t…

Has anyone else experienced that?

Steve June 27, 2007, 2:40 am

I’ve had loud EHS bangs maybe 6 or 7 times. I’ve often wondered if they have anything to do with a mini-stroke or some type of neuron misfire in the brain. I don’t use drugs/alcohol and haven’t seen any connection to stress. They’ve just come out of nowhere when in a light sleep. I’ve also had times when I have incredibly realistic hallucinations upon waking where I think I’ve woken up only to really wake up after a couple of minutes. Haven’t had one in years though.

Steven Perry July 4, 2007, 1:34 pm

*_Brian wrote:_* ‘I also have a similar symptom but it is not a bang its more of a electrical jolt. I have no idea but it worries the hell out of me because, I have a fear of these mini buzzing and zaps that feel like mini black outs.’

An ‘electrical jolt’, eh? I get it all of the time when I’m at the beginning of my sleep. The electric jolt produces a screeching sound, an is accompanied by a flash of light. Let me assure you; it’s completely harmless (it’s quite fun, to be honest). I’m a bodybuilder (16 years old), who leads a highly active and healthy lifestyle, but I still experience it. I also seem to receive radio transmissions (as if I’m tuning into a radio station), the falling sensation (like you’ve tripped up over your lace or something), and sudden body jerks.

No worries.

John Stokes July 10, 2007, 9:11 am

I know exactly how Gary Kay feels. I too suffer these same symtoms and although I have had scans my Neurologist hasn’t been terribly helpful. I first experienced EHS about 10 years ago. I was at work, under a great dela of stress and had a massive explosion – during the day! It has left me in such a wretched state that it forced my early retirement.
I am Gary’s age and am desperate for some help. The daytime explosion was the only ‘day’ one. All others occur as everyone else has described. As a result of the daytime explosion I now also have to endure constant and chronic tinnitus.
Surely there must be some research into this horrible, debilitating condition?
I am grateful for this site and the internet for the reassurance in knowing that I am not th only ‘sufferer’

Angie July 15, 2007, 5:50 pm

I thought I was really losing my mind!!!!!!!!!!! Happy to find this site. WOW! I was afraid to tell anyone about this feeling in my head , for fear of people thinking I am nuts. I finally asked my rhuematologist and he said maybe I was Bipolar. I think he is the crazy one… My nuerologist told me about EHS and I am now releived.

Peg July 26, 2007, 8:42 pm

Ok…I have had different experiences, but think I must have EHS. I experience what I call an “electrical type sound in my head” or a zapping noise. It’s difficult to explain, but have had this happen 6 or 8 times in the past year. I also have been experiencing “floating” sensations or dizziness. I was driving the car the other day and had to hold on tight to the steering wheel as I felt like I was floating on the highway. I have never told anyone of this. I am female and 60 years old. I don’t have any disease that I am aware of and work full time.

Melvin July 27, 2007, 10:49 pm

Hey, a few things to say:

One, that sudden jerk while falling asleep is normal, called a Hypnic jerk. It’s always made me angry, I was so tired than all of a sudden I just jump.

Two, this is something I’ve been wondering. Oftentimes, I hear a noise when falling asleep, but it’s not an explosion or shout. It’s more of a ringing noise or the sound of an electrical buzz. Whatever it is, I find it often has the same effect on me as if I did have EHS (from what I’ve read of people’s experiences). Anyone know if what that’s about?

Rockyj August 8, 2007, 1:53 am

I just came across Exploding Head Syndrome while recently researching this affliction that I have been experiencing for about 15 years! Boy, am I relieved to learn I’m not alone and there is explanation even though its a very poor one. I am diagnosed with chronic PTSD and always thought it was related, but I usually never experienced a flashback during a one of these episodes. Countless of doctors never came up with EHS either! It basically happens just before I fall sleep, a VERY loud roaring noise and BIG BANG with a white flash that causes my eyes to abruptly open. The only thing is during & afterwards my body becomes completely frozen in fear. I’ve told doctors its like every cell in my body is on high alert and full of fear. I’ve had them up to 5-8 times a night, about 3-4 times per week then suddenly they would stop. Then I could go several months or longer before I have another one. Lately, I only have them 1-2 times a night before I fall asleep and they aren’t near as common as they have been in the past, maybe once a week or a few times a month. I truly believe anxiety is what triggers them. I wish they would do more research on what causes them and what really is going on in your brain. Thank you all for sharing!

William R. August 14, 2007, 7:00 am

Wow…this thing has been freaking me out for weeks now! I finally decided to check it up on Wikipedia, and it lead me here. I’m happy to see that I’m not the only one that hears ‘noises’ when I drift off to sleep, lol.

It sounds like a scraping sound sometimes, sometimes an explosion, sometimes like a scream or a horn; usually it’s high pitched noises that just catch me off guard. I’ve been having a lot of visuals accompanying them lately too, but apparently that’s ‘normal’ too.

vishvickie August 20, 2007, 6:40 am

Yep freaky it is,not to mention setting off an adrenoline rush that keeps you up way longer. Thing is i have almost always found it to happen when i was beyond overly tired, as in missing days of sleep or physically and mentally just so wore out i can finally lay down to sleep. I have done my share of drugs in past but have been clean since the 80`s , still drink, but never have them then. sounds like theory of brain not shutting down completly works best for me , makes sense. Good luck to all, and at least we know its an ok thing and go back to sleeping in peace

Eek August 20, 2007, 4:52 pm

Hey Peg and Melvin, see my Monday March 13, 2006 — 4:49:58 pm comment on this wire. I always get the electricution sensation and electrical hum or buzz, though I’ve had the loud crashes and other weird noises. I think its all symptoms of EHS, but not the falling asleep body jerk. 🙂 You’ll have EHS less and less now that you know what it is. I’ve told a few med students about EHS so hopefully if someone in the future goes to them with this problem, they’ll be prepared.

Chris August 27, 2007, 7:10 pm

Last night I experienced something so freaky I had to look it up on the internet this morning and found this page. I almost got out of bed last night to check, but was too tired to go to the computer.

About fifteen minutes after crawling into to bed for the night (I was laying on my right side). I was relaxed, but had not fallen asleep yet, when two small yellowish lighten bolts flashed toward each other, touching, maybe even crossing each other in my head at the same time producing a loud electrical noice, described above like a Tesla Coil. That didn’t freak me out as much as what happned along with it; my head jerked up extremely fast, like I was getting electrocuted.

I’ve had a small headache all morning and early afternoon and also have a light case of whiplash, I believe from my head jerking so much last night.

I have been “stressed” the last month, not so much I cannot handle it, but I’ve never had so much going on in my life than I do right now. Also, the night before I had less than four hours of sleep. My 8 and 9 year old daughters had 12 other girls over for a slumber party and kept me up most of the night. So, it seems for me, mine was probably caused by stress and fatigue.

I haven’t gotten a chance to read all the posts, but read a lot. I have also had the gunshot sound in my sleep for over 15 years as some people described above. I get them maybe 6 to 8 times a year. I would wake up thinking someone was in the room and fired a gun, but find my husband sound asleep as if nothing happened, however, it takes my breathe away and my heart would pound so fast I thought it would cause me to have a heart attack! It would take me quite awhile to calm down and fall back to sleep.

It’s reassuring to know this is realatively harmless and I’m not the only one it’s happening to. Thanks for posting and telling your stories.

Jason August 29, 2007, 8:20 pm

I am a 21 year old male. Healthy, athletic, don’t smoke, almost never drink. Occasionally have slight anxiety like with getting a blood test one time I almost passed out.

This happened to me after 9/11 when I woke up one night almost sure that an atomic bomb had gone off somewhere. I just experienced it again 2 nights ago.

I was going through a slightly stressful time in my life but nothing crazy. It was around 4 or 5am and I heard little noises outside like someone rustling in the bushes and then out of nowhere I was startled awake by the sound of a gunshot outside. I then heard a car driving away and thought it must have been the “getaway car”. It was extremely loud and I was waiting for someone in my family to get up because of the sound but nobody did.

At first I was scared shitless but after about 15 minutes I got out of bed and to my parents room but they said they heard absolutely nothing. I even asked my friend on the block next to me if he heard the gunshot but he said no. When the gunshot happened I looked at my clock to see it was 5:30AM. Then last night I awoke again right at 5am for no reason and I was afraid that I would hear the sound again. Once 5:30AM passed and I didn’t hear it I went back to sleep even though I was still scared.

I just found out about this now and it is very reassuring to read all these posts.

Also I find it interesting that I get the same dreams when im sick as some of these people of having your environment get very small or large.

I was sleeping on my back the last few nights when I usually sleep on my stomach.

My mother also has told me she had the same thing happen to her.

Are you sensitive to the experience between the point of awakeness into sleep?

Not really sure what this means, but im a light sleeper.

Have any of you experienced Shadowmen at anytime in your lives?
Shadowmen (dark blobs or dark figures)

NEVER. sounds scary as hell tho

Have any of you had surgery under a General Anesthetic prior to the EHS?

YES. Appendicitis

Have you had any General Anesthetic surgery in the past?

YES. same

Are you open to paranormal believes or religious/spiritual believes?


Do they happen more in the middle of the month?

Not sure of the first one, but this one happened just 2 days ago so end of the month.

Are you aware of your surroundings during this bang, or do you have to come into reality and focus into an awakeness first?

Definately aware of surroundings. Awoke right away knew I was in my bed and thought I heard a gunshot

Are you prone to insomnia?

I had insomnia a little bit during the schoolyear because of irregular sleep schedule (late night parties, early classes, sleeping in other days, etc…)

Jacky September 2, 2007, 8:46 pm

Ive been having these for about a month. When it happens its like a firework (banger going off) and then a flash. I was worried sick as i have been having loads of joint pain etc lately, and have always been fit and active. Im relieved to know what this is, but ive wondered whether its perhaps a side effect of anti-inflams and painkillers, and also maybe one of those things that happens more because your aware of it and thinking about it too much.

Markus September 18, 2007, 9:51 pm

Thank you! I finally have a name for my disorder! I have asked several doctors about this, including a brain surgeon, but noone recognized my symptoms.

However, I’ve been reading the comments, and it sounds like the are are at least two syndromes bunched under the same name.

First there’s the timing of it. Some of the postsers get it just when falling asleep (as do I), and others get it when already asleep, waking them up in the middle of the night. I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that these are two different syndromes.

Then we have the sensation itself. Some people hear a gunshot. I’m with the tesla coil group. Maybe it’s just a matter of reference, but my sound is nothing like a gunshot. My best description of the event (both as a sound and as a feeling) is someone pressing the degauss button that was found on old CRT monitors; if my brain had had one of those buttons.

I get them when I’m up artificially late at the computer. It is at the point where I would already be asleep if I didn’t drink way too many cups of coffee. Playing a game on the computer takes very little energy so apparently the body can keep itself awake enough to do that when it is too tired for pretty much any other task. If I owned a TV it would probably have the same effect.

I’ve learned to go to bed when (or before) I have trouble keeping my eyes up instead of taking yet another cup of coffee. And that keeps my bangs away.

Ginna September 25, 2007, 12:30 am

Well, I decided to google my gunshot/head buzz problem and came upon this board. I believe I first started noticing this when I was 18….I’m 27 now. I only have this happen when I’m trying to force sleep. Like taking a nap I’ll need for later even when I’m not tired. I’ll lay down and finally get extremely tired, but right as I’m about to pass out I hear a loud gun shot inside my head…like a rifle. This will happen a number of times before it stops and a buzzing starts. The buzzing starts in my head but paralyzes(sp?) my whole body. I get an incredible sense of dread and fear at this point. I feel fully awake but can’t move or open my eyes. I yell at myself to WAKE UP over and over until I finally get control. Unfortunately, I’m usually so overcome with sleepiness that I just close my eyes again and the whole thing starts over.
The last two times have been much different. It didn’t happen while I was falling asleep but well after I already had. Once I heard the front door open, someone walk all the way to my room and stop by my bed. I had sleep paralysis but was freaking out inside my head. I finally forced my eyes awake really expecting someone to be standing there. I slept with the lights on for the rest of the night.
Last night, I “woke up” with sleep paralysis and felt that same presence by my bed. I felt it was standing there staring at me menacingly. When I finally forced my eyes open, there was nothing there. Falling back asleep brought on the gun shots and more head buzzing. I finally turned on the lamp and fell into a good sleep.
I’m glad I found this site. I’ve had several people tell me it is the beginning of astral projection….not sure if I believe in that. When this happens to me all I feel is terror, so I’d just as soon not have it happen ever again.

Jonathan September 27, 2007, 4:03 am

Wow what a lot of comments… quite amazing.

Had my first experience last night and had to do a search which led me here.

I’ve always often had a sense of falling and a jolt as I’m drifting to sleep… but never anything like last night. Like many others have said it was bloody scary!

Just about asleep and ‘pow!’ not so much an auditory bang but as if someone had just hit me really hard on the head and the brief flash of light along with it… instantly I awoke with a violent almost impulsive shake of my head and rubbed it. I sat up feeling very faint and dizzy like I was going to black out… I was scared I was about to go into some kind of seizure or something as I’ve heard somewhere that’s how people feel before something like that.

I lay back down and the feeling quickly passed, drifted back into sleep and ‘Kapow!’ it happened again though not so violent… as I drifted off again I could almost feel it lurking there but it didn’t happen again.

What’s interesting is how much it was like being hit in the head… I remember any time in my life I’ve hit my head reasonably hard or had it hit reasonably hard! (not too often to have caused any damage I must say) it’s always accompanied by a flash of white light behind the eyes… and of course if you’ve been physically hit in the head you definately feel dizzy and close to black out. It’s frighteningly similar.

I used to suffer from night terrors from as young as I can remember, as what must have been a baby I recall dreams of colour where the multi-colours would snowball towards me, I remember it being very scary… an impending sense of something terrible about to happen. As a child I would wake up in the night with that same impending sense of terror, my hands would feel large and heavy and I would pace around the room as sitting still just made the feeling more obvious.

The weirdest it ever got was more of a half sleepwalk hallucination I had but recalled it vividly… I walked down to the kitchen in the middle of the night, opened the fridge and sat on the bench staring into it… different items in the fridge were different family members and they were talking to each other… it was very surreal and vague… it wasn’t a night terror but that combined with the night terrors prompted my parents to get me an ECG scan. The doctor decided based on results that I had a lesion on my temporal lobe and suffered from a very mild case of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy… he gave me medication that he said I would have to take for the rest of my life to stop it developing into something more!?

I was about 14yo. My instinct was that I shouldn’t take it, that it was going to dullen my overly creative imagination. I never took it.

A few years later I mentioned the whole thing when I started seeing another doctor. He looked at my file and said I did the right thing… I should never have been been prescribed medication for that, and that it’s not epilepsy and wouldn’t ever develop into the more commonly known type with seizures etc, saying that is something totally different.

ANYWAY… Over the years I continued to have these episodes at random times… and just as often during the day as at night. I had started to find a pattern relating them to being stressed, run-down or most commonly just before I was about to come down with a flu or something…. when my body is starting to dedicate it’s resources to fighting it off I guess.

I’m 32 now and can’t remember that last time I had one of these… occasional hints of it arise then are gone.

Someone mentioned back in this page that an episode of some sort for them could be triggered by the ticking sound of a heater cooling down… I TOTALLY related to that… very interesting, it’s something about the rhythm of that ticking that does it… the few fast clicks followed by a progression of about 8 slower clicks. It’s exactly the same as when you get a basket ball and from about 10cm off a hard surface let it bounce… that also gives me the sense of those terror atacks. Weird huh?! but somehow related.

This has gone a bit off Topic but I do wonder if there are links between these things as I see others have noted. Worth putting out there as I saw a few researchers have been using comments from here.

So… now this Exploding Head Syndrome… I don’t conciously feel under a lot of stress but I think I’m a very calm on the surface person when I may well be suffering stress and anxiety under the surface.

I’m almost curious to see if it happens again… but terrified that it will.

All the best everyone 🙂


jeff September 27, 2007, 7:01 am

It seems to me there are two types, one wile going to sleep and the other wide awake. Unfortunatly I have both. The awake ones are very painfull and seem to start with an electical shock to the base of my neck followed by an extreme explosin of light and sound. It all last less then a split second but the pain in my head can last several seconds and cause a severe migrane, even though I almost never have headaches. The sleep ones seem to just be normal quite sounds amplified by 100 but also somtimes with lightning flashes.
I have also had occular migranes without pain consisting of a hole in my vision and sometimes a square with wavy patterns in it. This makes reading impossible as you cannot see the letter you are focousing on but can still see the others.
I have allways had insomnia and can enter many altered states before sleep including, tunnel vision, light patterns with eyes open or closed( these can be very scary when they take forms of faces so I try and avoid this).I sometimes awake with cobwebs on my face. I allways sleep on my right side because of a broken shoulder when I was younger.
I have thought that it was caused by motion as I am a truck driver and seem to always feel movement even when still. For years I also heard the sound of a motor running for years while trying to sleep ( at home)but after moving to this house that seems to have gone away.
I sometimes use saratonin to sleep and am much more restfull this way nut I only keep it in the truck as I am uauslly deprived of sunlight, sleeping in the day and driving all night.
I never talk about any of this as the few times i have I get weird looks. Nice to know I’m not the only one.

charles October 9, 2007, 1:06 am

Weird! I had my first one of these the other night — in all honesty, I decided (based on the pulse of light sensation and the sort of electrical feeling you get) that the transformer across the street from my house exploded, and just went back to bed. In hindsight, though, this is exactly what it was.

Good to know that it’s not indicative of a problem, but I seriously hope it doesn’t come back!

Lindy Dawson October 14, 2007, 7:56 pm

Hi All
Pleased to find this site… it will make me feel much better tonight when I get my nightly zaps when falling asleep. (I get the electrical zaps/rushes in my head when falling asleep which wake me up with a jolt.)
I have been communciating with some ladies on another site and we had been assuming that this was a menopausal symptom linked to low estrogen and the adrenals overeacting to small noises.
It seems it’s a much wider symptom!
Having read many of your posts I realise that although this is a fairly new problem for me I have had the phantom ding dong noises described previously for some time.
Lindy xx

Ter October 15, 2007, 6:54 pm

Wow, I decided to take a nap after my kids were off to school & woke up 2 hours later to a gunshot blasting outside my bedroom window. My heart was racing as I came to, and lay still unsure how to proceed. While attempting to hold perfectly still, waiting for some sort of impending doom, I heard nothing but the normal whistling wind in my ears. I gained the courage to peek out my window, maybe it was a bad car accident??? Nothing..did someone throw a rock and the window exploded?? no. The realization that the noise came from within my own head slowly seeps into my awareness, and that idea, that knowledge is very troublesome, causing discomfort that worse than if it had actually been danger from an outside source…..Oh no, a brain tumor? I reach for the laptop with an urgency, as the loading takes much too long. I type in the words “loud bang while sleeping”, and this marvelous website appears reasuring my mind, sharing stories of concern and commonplace is a sure way of healing. Thanks for taking the time to contribute! Hopefully you have all stumbled over the websites regarding EHS symptoms and the idea that electricity may contribute to this syndrome. There are devices that can be purchased to get rid of dirty electricity in the home which may help. I haven’t tried them but plan to get some (beware they are pricey). Good luck to everyone and keep up the communication!

Timothy October 17, 2007, 5:57 am

I’ve had Exploding Head Syndrome, in various manifestations, since I was young, but I have never found it frightening.

I would get “the sound” and “the electric shock” when I had a sudden and amazing insight into something. Later on, when I developed insomnia, I came to associate the sound and shock with the relaxation that precedes sleep. As a result of all this, I always saw EHS as a GOOD thing!

Except for one time … when I was prescribed an anti-depressant. I discontinued it because it would trigger a mini-explosion every time I moved my eyes to shift my gaze from center to left, or center to right, or right to left.

I didn’t mind a bit of EHS, but this was ridiculous.

I don’t remember which medication it was, but it was almost certainly an SSRI (or, less likely, an SSNRI). Yet even this didn’t dismay me, as I had come to associate EHS with a very sudden realignment of my attentional focus.

I’ve told some friends about my “head sounds”, and before I knew it might be “EHS” I called it “fizz-pop”, because it sounds like a loud pop followed by a fizz; the “shock” effect occurs with the pop. (Sometimes the pop is more like a click.)

These days I get EHS mostly when I meditate. I interpret it as a “letting go”, and actually welcome it. Well, usually.

Tonight, as I relaxed for sleep, I had a REALLY loud one, and it sounded different than usual — more like a large trap-door slamming shut in my head, rather than the usual “fizz-pop” described above.

I see a lot of posts here. I’ve considered starting a message board for this topic, but at the moment I’m booked solid for several months. Anybody else wanna do it?

Timothy October 19, 2007, 8:10 pm

Has anybody else here ever noticed that the “electric shock” feeling is similar to that which you occasionally get shortly after waking up? Particularly after a long-overdue nap?

I’ve noticed this in the past but forgot to mention it in my previous post.

kp October 21, 2007, 3:38 am

Yes I have had a vibration feeling with it but not so much shocking feeling. I don’t associate it with waking from a nap though. never felt that.
Has anyone noticed noises more when they are congested??? I haven’t had eposides in months. now with a headcold I had a ring in one ear when waking. That side is also plugged up. It was just like a cell phone ring. new one for me.
Good to know many people experience these and we can share experiences. If anyone finds recent scientific studies, pls post it. I am going to do some searches as well.
My only worry is that it may or may not become worse – to the point of debilitating. Anyone out there that’s had this a lifetime?

Kenny October 21, 2007, 4:23 pm

I started having Exploding Head Syndrome shortly after beginining the Anti Depressanr Geodone. I havent Slept in in think 48 hrs now. My eyes are also tracking right to left a lot as well. I am beginning to loose my wits!!!

Glenna October 21, 2007, 6:35 pm

I have the big bang in my head from time to time, also glad I’m not alone. I also feel my pulse beating in my head, on the left side, when I lie down, it is annoying, does anyone have this problem?

Cindy October 23, 2007, 2:45 am

I thought I was dying!! I was peacefully dreaming one minute and the next I felt like a sonic boom went off! It was deafening I screamed in my dream.Then I had flashing white lights. I thought I was having a heart attack or stroke and this is what it was like to die. When the lights stopped I told myself to try to open my eyes and lo and behold I saw the clock Say 2:00. The dogs were still sleeping as was my husband. Next I checked to see if I could move my limbs, I could. The only thing wrong was that my head hurt. I have been battleing headaches for 20 years. I also take Topamax daily,but no caffiene,no smoking and minamal stress.I don’t think I will tell my Doc. She will think I am crazy! Thank god for my good friend who plugged my symtoms into the web and found EHS I am amazed at how many of us there are.

Adam October 25, 2007, 1:40 am

Hi, like the rest of you here, im glad to find out im not alone. I experienced this problem yesterday morning when trying to get back to sleep. I fell asleep very easily as i am constantly tired but was soon (about thirty seconds in) abruptly awoken by a loud whirring sound. It seemed as if every little sound in the room had been amplified a thousand times over, i felt like i was at a Motorhead gig or soemthing. The sound gradually got louder and louder (it really hurts too) for about thuirty seocnds then dissapears. This has happened every time i try to go to sleep for town ights now. I am going to ring the doctors in the morning but im too frightened to try and sleep now, anyone offer any reccommendation or help?

Im 20 and male.

Keneth from Sweden October 25, 2007, 8:05 pm

I have experienced this phenomena since I was a teenager. I am now 54. It allways happens as I just going to fall asleep. From the beginning it accurred as a giant epileptic attac, but for the last 5 years it feels like I am falling for a tenth of a second.

Laura November 10, 2007, 1:00 am

Does anybody else get a loud sudden noise, not a ‘ping’ but like maybe an electric guiltar lead being suddenly yeanked out of a large amplifier. Like more electrical?

It happens to me before sleep, and sometimes after my mind is swirling wih thoughs, I get the ‘snap’ or ‘zap’ and my mind then jst goes blank in a sense that it’s like ‘switched off’ from stress anyway.

guess i’m trying to work out if it’s this condition.

ps: I don’t see a light(s)

Keneth from Sweden November 13, 2007, 10:51 pm

I have some more things to add in this matter. As I said earlier the “giant epileptic attack” always comes as I just going to fall asleep. After the electric explosion I always feels very awake for the next hour or so. The sleeping pill Stilnoct helps me to get rid of the problem. And that feels good because I normally just have to take half a pill. 20 years ago I believed that would die of this problem.But now I can handle it,

Justin November 27, 2007, 12:36 pm

Just wondering if anyone had experienced this bang in the head as i have and sat up and thought someone was trying to give you a message……..Or thought outside the box so to speak…….EHS, hmmmmmm, might be, but there are so many unknowns in this world…..Why stop at that?

kimberley December 3, 2007, 6:35 am

I have read a lot of these statements, and I am wondering if anyone has had it like mine. It is not a big bang,that i hear, but i am about to wake up and i can feel my self trembling inside, I don’t think my body is shaking on the outside just the inside, like the feeling of your bed moving and shaking, and then I hear a really loud motor sound, like an airplane going around in my brain. It definately is inside my head, and it lasts for about 10 seconds. It is really loud, and I am sure my eyes are moving to follow the sound in my head. Then i seem to have to struggle to wake up and open my eyes. Wondering if i was dreaming.
I hve had this sensation about 5 times now since my car accident just over a year ago. Does this sound like anything anyone else has experienced?

John December 13, 2007, 12:24 am

Wow!! I get this aswell..

Never thought of lookng it up until came across this page by accident.

Laura’s description above of a guitar amp being plugged in or out is very accurate to what I get. It’s extremely loud, sudden and fast, occuring just as I fall asleep. I always wake up totally, and can’t sleep for a bit after.

I always thought of it as being like an electrical charge, with a very loud crash or buzz. The amp thing is accurate though.

Don’t think I’ve ever seen the lights bit.

gus December 17, 2007, 7:20 pm

Interesting reading some of the comments above.

I’m now pretty sure after reading these comments that this is indeed what I have. I had an attack of this last night, hearing what sounded like a combination between a ‘ringing sheet metal’ sound (which a lot of you have described) but also a “gushing water” sound. It was pretty scary!

I’ve also experienced a “balloon pop” sound (this happens just as I drift off) and an “electrical buzz” (this one can even happen during the day)

I’ve never seen lights, although I have had mild hallucinations (probably unrelated, just due to visual fatigue)

I tend to get this when I’ve had very little sleep, usually after taking a lot of caffeine esp. energy drinks! Trying to cut down on them though.

Does anyone else out there experience EHS during panic/anxiety attacks? It’s happened to me a few times before, I definitely think there’s a link between the two.

Also on a slightly weirder note, has anyone ever experienced a strange smell, a very sort of iron-y metallic smell mixed with a a methane-y natural gas smell? It’s happened to me during the aforementioned episodes, seemed to come on in waves lasting 2-3 seconds. These smells seemed to heighten the sense of fear and terror.

I didn’t even think nasal hallucinations (would love to know the real terminology, if there is one) existed at all!

Nev January 1, 2008, 7:54 am

Hey Gus. The methane waves you were getting were probably the result of a gas induced dinner, such as chili or if you have any pets, they may be the culprit.

Just a thought

peggy January 6, 2008, 2:01 pm

I had EHS one time. The night I learned that my husband had been killed, I finally fell asleep around 3am, lying on my back, in shock, tears streaming down my temples. About 330am I was jolted awake by a loud pop/bang. It sounded like a zip-loc baggy that was filled with air, then popped. The location of the sound was “in my head”, but it was a real sound located in the middle of my head, not an imaginary sound “in my head.”

I just stumbled across this message board and it’s interesting to learn this phenomenon occurs with others. I always thought (and haven’t fully discounted the idea) that the pop/bang sound I heard that night, was the sound of my soul returning to my body. Because on 20/20 one time they did a peice on near death experiences. One woman had died on the operating table and when she returned to her body, she heard a loud pop at the top of her head. (isn’t there a big chakra there?) So I figured that in my shock and grief that my soul had “stepped out” and when it returned, that it mustv’e made the same pop that the lady on 20/20 talked about. Some people believe that the soul “loosens” during sleep anyway, so maybe mine just loosened a little more? Crazy sounding I know, but I wonder.

Then I began thinking about other odd things that happened while sleeping. The time recently where I was jolted awake by the sound of my home’s burglar alarm. But when I awoke there was silence.

Or the time I was “pushed out of my sleep.” I was in a deep, black, dead sleep, not dreaming or anything. I felt like I was being pushed from behind. After the 3rd or 4th shove from behind, my consciousness stirred as I was being roused from my sleep. It was an odd feeling being “pushed” feeling vertical, and becoming aware of my body lying horizontal. It was a startling feeling and I jolted awake after like the 4th or 5th “push” My body tenses and my head lifted off the pillow and my eyes popped open and I made a “uh” sound from being startled. I was facing the clock radio, and the time was 1:11am. My husband was killed in a plane crash, flight 111. So I thought it was him who “pushed me out of my sleep” to say hello, and let me know it was him by doing it at exactly 1:11am.

Another experience shortly after his death, which could have been EHS (or him!) was being awakened by the sensation that someone was blowing in my ear, hard, like blowing out birthday candles. But when I awoke I knew nobody was there, because the ear that was being “blown” in, was the ear that I was lying on my pillow!

Buford January 15, 2008, 4:14 am

I’ve also had the sudden sound just before I drifted to sleep. It happens when I’m on my back. The sound is simular to the previous gunshots, shock, electric buzz, car crash ect, but sometimes it is a bit different. You know when an orchistra plays the final bars of a song and the ending is a long note, the note is completed and just as you think the song is finished there is one final 1/2 second togetherness from all the brass instruments …… WHOOMPH ! ! ! What I hear is the final WHOOMPH. I am instantly awake.

Here’s a question I’d like to ask in hope that may answer some other questions.

Do you consider yourself or been told that you are unusually creative as in making or fixing things or perhaps able to figure out things thats others can’t?

MESCHELL January 15, 2008, 4:47 am


Lindy Dawson January 15, 2008, 12:31 pm

I am adding an update to my earlier post about the Electric Shock type rushes/bang sensations I get when falling asleep.
These have continued, getting worse some nights and then better others. They are sometimes accompanied by flashes. often blue, sometimes white.
I have linked them definitely to very slight noises in the room or outside .. either the click of the floor cooling down, the radiator or a slight noise outside or my husband moving. (when bad I have to sleep in another room).
I have recently been diagnosed by the hospital with chemical sensitivities (sulfite and others) and am now having to carry an epi pen due to scary reactions.
My sense of smell has become really acute and I jump at noises more than usual.
My research has led me to find out that chemical sensitivities, excess stress and adrenal fatique can cause the Sympathetic Nervous system (the flight and fight response) to over react. I assume that this is what is happening to me.
I am no longer scared of the “shocks” I just find them irritating.
I realise that this will not be the explanation for many people posting here as there seem to be many variations of “bangs” here some seem to be a more “electrical/migraine” type than this. but this would explaian why they happen at times of extreme stress or for people with sensitivities.
I have previously also had the “bang” in the middle of the night that wakes me up and the “doorbell” sound but not for a long time….

Lindy xxx

luke January 18, 2008, 1:47 am

I get this now and then, just after falling asleep. I’ve always compared it to a door slamming, but the ‘guitar being plugged into an amp’ comparison above is better. (Sometimes, however, it’s like somebody shouting nearby.) I can’t say I’ve ever minded it. I did a Google search for it just now (“bang head sleep”) because it suddenly struck me as odd that I’d never heard anyone else refer to it. To me it feels like a release of tension, some anxiety being resolved. Although it startles me at first, I feel more relaxed afterwards and can get right back to sleep. I’m very sorry to read that so many people have a more extreme and unpleasant version of it.

I do tend to be stressed — usually about nothing — and have a very stiff neck and shoulders (which has caused other problems, particularly with nerves in hands); I drink loads of caffeine, a fair amount of booze, and took LSD a few times when I was younger. I rarely get headaches, I’m generally pretty healthy, and tend to be a rationalist. Oh, and I honestly don’t think this has anything to do with ghosts, spirits, souls etc etc.

Buford January 18, 2008, 3:34 am

One other question if I may. Sorry if this seems to be off subject, but in my case maybe it’s not. This is about a visual experiance where things shrink or become very far away? When I was in my teens and 20’s the things I saw in normal everyday happenings would sometimes focus far away. It was interesting to begin with, and like a game. I could voluntary cause it to happen. It was like looking through a pair of binoculars backwards, almost to the point of dissappearing. I could put my hand out in front of me and it also appeared very far away. The longer I stared at an object, the smaller it became. Another way to describe it is, as if a person was in the control room of a very large machine, in this case another large person. The view point being through the eyes. This gives the projection of things being far away and the operator being high up. I became concerned when I realized that I could not reverse things back to normal. Now it was stuck and no longer fun. After a while though of being occupied with something else, I realized things were normal vision again. I’ve not tried to play with this any more in 25 years and find myself wondering if it may be related to EHS. Has anyone ever had a simular experience? Thanks

Geno Woodard February 5, 2008, 3:34 am

Cool. Im not the only one. It has happened to me for years. It usually happens when I’m REALLY tired and happenes more often when Im napping in the day. Maybe light related?

sagar February 11, 2008, 10:17 pm

The loud noise in my head sounded as though it was a firecracker exploding. Scared the hell out of me. I eventually noticed that if I ate or drank something with aspartame one or two hours before bed I would experience the explosion in my head. It is though I was having a sugar rush straight to the brain.

Mike February 21, 2008, 4:33 am

“Sorry if this seems to be off subject, but in my case maybe it’s not. This is about a visual experiance where things shrink or become very far away?”

I think you want Alice in Wonderland Syndrome. Try

Angie February 22, 2008, 5:52 am

Does anyone have symptoms similiar to EHS but while awake & at anytime of the day? I have this zinger, electric shock feeling at the bridge of my nose, lasts for a few seconds & extremely scaring, but not painful.

Frank Rugby February 28, 2008, 8:08 am

I just sent my dad an e-mail with the following as the subject line: YAY – I’M NOT INSANE AFTER ALL!!!!!

For real, though. I had to send him a note. I always thought it was aliens or the Dolcinites or wireless NWO spam from Halliburton but NO!


Sweet! That is SO awesome.


Kyle February 29, 2008, 1:51 am

I’ve had this for years, found out about it on a wiki search and came here! Thank god other people have it too, im not crazy!

About a year ago I had an EHS attack, but for that split second I saw the beach! And heard the waves VERY loud. Although this could be from the transitionary stage of going into a dream, but nonetheless very startling and abrupt. I find that I get the zaps and flashes when I am dead tired and my body quickly falls into a sleep. I always thought of it as a mechanism in my brain from keeping me from relaxing too much! To jolt me awake, because I often have a very slow heart and breathing rate just as I get the EHS. Do you think there could be a connection that way? A mechanism to prevent the body from relaxing soo much we would stop our hearts? Just a suggestion! =)

Kyle, 19 years old.

Ellen March 6, 2008, 4:59 am

At least I know I am not crazy. I too have sufferred for years with the bangs, electrical shock feelings, popping sounds in my ear, pounding heartbeat, and fear. I became afraid to fall asleep. Still am. After reading all of your entries, I am hoping to sleep better tonight. Oh, and I do notice an increase when I eat wheat,dairy,aspartame, or other foods loaded with chemicals and additives. lol to all.

Tom March 6, 2008, 7:47 pm

Never was so relieved to know my experiences are shared by so many! Mine began when around 14 yrs old, these being like sleep paralysis, and I’m like floating in this gray mist, and I’m terrified beyond description, and am having this feeling that some terrifying presence is with me, and it’s trying to suck me out of my body. The struggle is so furious, the terror so extreme, trying to fight this thing off, and trying also to wake up or yell or move to get someone’s attention to help me. I’ve even managed to wake up during this but the pulling sensation takes me back to sleep almost instantly. Then the struggle resumes. Once, I did manage to make myself wake up and struggled hard and managed to even get out of the bed and walk down the stairs, but all during that, I had to hang on to the stair railing because “it” tried to pull me back to unconsciousness/sleep. Took me a while to regain full wakefulness.
Now, just prior to beginning to have this strange sleep disturbance, I was asleep one night when all the sudden it was like I was laying there, awake, or able to be cognitive, although I also felt I was still in some sort of sleep state, and there was this presence I spoke about, but I was (please be kind, as I am serious) able to see “through my eyelids” and it was or seemed to be human form, but it wasn’t human. There it stood right by the bed, looking down at me as if we might even be familiar to one another some how. Tall, large build, with wide slanty gray eyes, very wide ear to ear mouth, thin lipped, and it was grinning at me, but not a nice attitude, but more like an “ha ha” you’re helpless grin. His skin was gray, but translucent looking, thin. Only saw him this one time. I continued to have the sleep/sucking out of my body experiences regularly until I was around 35 yrs old, and finally went to my Bishop and told him about them, how I’d finally struggle hard enough to get away from this “force” and wake up terrified and my heart pounding, and be afraid to go back to sleep, since they’d return again. He told me to pray and ask to be relieved of them. I did, that night, and then went to sleep. I hadn’t been asleep more than maybe minutes, when I was awakened by this explosion that sounded SO loud…I literally just knew something had really exploded somewhere in the house, or fell, something very heavy like a huge solid metal door falling on a metal floor, or a gun being shot off right next to my head, exactly what everyone here describes. I found nothing, and no one else in the house heard a sound. Unlike many of you here, that sound/explosion was the one and only time it has happened. (I’m now 63)I remember no electric shocks, no buzzing, no pain, no lights, flashes, etc, no nothing, except that sound, but I do see little lights flying around me a lot lately. But what I did experience, immediately, along with the explosion, was a strong, absolute, “something” that seemed to be “saying” in a telepathic kind of way, “WELL FINE!!!!!!!!”

I see the shadow figures, I’ve awakened recently hearing someone who sounded like they were screaming right in my ear, so loud, and can’t begin to describe the agony and pain, mixed with anger and rage, in that horrible scream, and it was a male voice, and like he sounded like he had been tortured forever with what he was screaming over. I also have begun, over this past 4 or so yrs, to having vertigo, awful sickening dizziness spells, sometimes lasting for days, and a lot of ringing in my ears, also a sound like a buzzy hum, sometimes a kind of thumping, Also temporary partial blindness, as well as pretty, coloful designs around my periphreal vision, called painless migrains, Back when I was younger, and having the attacks in my sleep, like being sucked out of my body, I had tests done to check for any problem, like epilepsy or whatever, and nothing was found wrong.

My feelings,and I can’t help but put things together this way, are that there is other-worldly, something going on here. The train of events, in my own case, and that prayer which I devoutly believed would work, which did work, since these nightmarish dreams or whatever, ceased. So I ask myself, and answer with rational conclusions, that if my prayer worked, then it had to have been something that God could stop, which to me still points to something evil/other wordly.

On finding this blog, I am quite relieved to know I’m not alone, and until today, I never knew anyone who had had these experiences of exploding brain. As for this, and all other symptoms, etc, I’d offer my advice, for what worked for me, which is sincere, prayer. Ask Father for help, in Christ.


Buford March 7, 2008, 4:41 pm

Tom, I don’t understand these things, but I dare not laugh about the human form that you discribe. Who really knows the human mind and body? Is it chemistry or something else? One thing I do know is that we are all going through a portal in life, seemingly all in a different way. When I say all, I mean everyone, even if they have not experienced EHS. We will live, we will die, we will deal with our lot that the creator has assigned us. We will also account for every idle word and thought. Our record will show that in spite of the obsticals, we either continued to keep the straight and narrow or we chose the wide path to distruction.

Asking the Father for help in Christ is the ultimate way to rewire the brain! What a concept. 😉

Tom March 11, 2008, 6:55 pm

Not sure where you were going here with remarks about whether one is going down the straight and narrow or not, as to my remarks about my experience, however I agree with your words, certainly. What I have surmised, through experience, (which left me with some serious questions) and through many yrs of study, is that there’s more to the story than what we’ve been told, as far as God, and especially creation. As for me, I know there is life out there, and that we are not alone. It’s form, intelligence, rhyme, and reason, and from where, is all up to each of us to figure out. I just know I experienced most of what people here describe, with that difference being that mine began at age 14 after I saw that strange being/form/whatever one could call it. A lot of those in the field of science will blame it all on quirks in the brain, and insist it is the only real way to validate what we experience. That is, if they can’t prove anything except in a scientific lab/experimental environment, then is just isn’t.
And yes, I believe there is a higher power… call it the Christ consciousness, the higher self, God, or whatever, it’s a personal power inherent in each and every one. Be it through meditation, silent or vocal prayer, along with the belief that it can work, it does. Doesn’t really matter…I mean, if a man “believes” …even one not so intelligent, a simple minded man,…I mean, he can hop on one foot in a circle rubbing his belly, and patting his head, to the tune of here comes Santa Claus, and his “beleiving” in faith to receive will still bring about the answer to his prayer or need. It’s what is in the heart…the good…sincere intent.

Just saying what worked for me. (:


Simon March 13, 2008, 1:58 pm

I used to get this quite often but haven’t had it for a couple of years now. I sort of miss it now. The description of a guitar being unplugged fits it exactly for me. I feel under more stress now than I have for years and I’m not getting as much sleep as I should but this doesn’t seem to bring it on for me. I’m also sleeping alone for the first time in many years 🙁 I don’t know if this is connected at all.

Bridget March 13, 2008, 6:01 pm

OMG ….OMG …. OMG …..

EHS …. wow I am not alone ….

I started getting this about a year ago. It started happening again a few nights back. Mine occurs when I’m just about to fall asleep, which scares and annoys me to no end coz I tend to have difficulty sleeping to begin with. But at least now I know that I am not alone and that it’s harmless afterall. When I felt a few attacks last nite, I got so scared that I was determined to go see my doctor today. Thank God I found this blog. It helped calm my nerves and now I have an actual term to use when I speak to my doctor on my next appt. *Phew*….*sigh* ….

Ruby March 14, 2008, 12:35 am

Hi, I’d just like to share my theory why these head explosions happen to me. At the core of it is a neck problem. I personally got whiplash after a car accident but I’m sure you could easily get an injury through sport or a minor accident. Don’t ask me how your neck can cause you to feel like you are being electrocuted while sleeping but each time I’ve had one it’s after I’ve lifted something too heavy or exercised too hard. I have a feeling they happen more often than I know but when I’m suffering from anxiety I feel like my brain is on high alert and ‘wakes’ up during an attack. I’ve also been aware of them when my boyfriend is still up and making noise around the house. So yeah they’re my thoughts. I personally think that there are people who have neck problems and have these head attacks but aren’t aware of them and then there are people who have neck problems along with anxiety (and a coffee habit) who ‘wake’ during the ‘explosions.’

Ruby March 18, 2008, 12:44 am

Also wanted to ask people at what time into their sleep do these head things occur? Mine always happen about 1 to 1 1/2 hours into sleep which fascinates me because you go into REM sleep 70 to 90 minutes into sleep. I’ve noticed people say they happen when they are just about to fall asleep, but have you been laying there for a while or watching T.V because you might already be in the sleep process but not know it. I personally think something happens in the transition into REM sleep. I know I’m in the REM stage when I have the head explosions because of the sleep paralysis that accompanies them. Your first REM stage normally only lasts 10 minutes so it must all be related, for me anyway. I find it interesting that they only happen in the first cycle of REM sleep and none of the others during the night. I know this isn’t relevant to everyone but I’m interested in anyone that can relate to what I’m saying.

Melena March 19, 2008, 9:45 pm

Hey, what a relief.. for years I thought I was going mad. I quite often get this EHS but was amazed that noone else in the household ever woke up to the noise.. not even the dog ruffled his coat! Then It begins to sink in that noone else hears it. Last night it happened again, I was woken by 3 loud bangs (its always in 3s) but I thought I heard the word ‘mum’ at the end of each bang.. like BANG mum, BANG mum etc…(yeah i know sounds really weird) so, of course, I dived out of bed, tripped over the sleeping dog on the landing, to find everyone else sound asleep. I kind of know that it is in my head, but its so loud its just like an explosion – that I naturally jump out of bed when it happens. I even wondered if my house was haunted and I was the only one who could tune in to it. What a weird condition….but great to know im not alone!!

melena March 19, 2008, 10:36 pm

forgot to add to my last post, I also get the electric shock at the back of my head, top of my neck area. This usually happens when i hear a legitimate bang during the day, ie, someone clanking a plate – the electric shock will follow and makes me cringe every time, I hate it. This is totally different to the explosion I get when asleep.

Also, I dont know if this is related, but after the explosions in my head woke me last night, the top of my scalp is very tender, as if I have been wearing a really tight pony tail. Its the only way I can describe it.

Im also curious to know if anyone else ever experiences the explosions in 3’s? or is that just me?

Jane 1 March 27, 2008, 3:54 pm

Well after years of tests, puzzled looks from various doctors Neurologists to ENTs it takes a google link to this site to confirm what is wrong with me! I have been getting this at night for about 6 years and even during the day for the same amount of time. The day ones are a bit more freaky, a little like vertigo, but just a sudden jolt where I have to steady myself if I am standing, if I am sitting it is like an electrick shock that goes into my fingers for a seconds and I often get flashy lights in my vision. At night it is a gunshot sound, a loud bang, voices shouting or a buzzing like someone is blowing in my ear, always wakes me to a sitting position and makes my heart fly out of sheer fear. Someone mentioned on this site some posts back that when they have a few drinks they don’t get it and I concur, when I don’t drink I get it when I do I just sleep well, however I wonder whether it is a good sleep and I am just delaying the feeling for when I get it during the day. I have had two MRI Brain scans and many hearing tests all clear and am met with puzzled looks when I try to vocalise these feelings to doctors. No more. Also I won’t be relying on a few glasses of wine to knock me out anymore, I am going to face the explosions with a new outlook, thanks to everyone for sharing your comments on this site. Medical History I was diagnosed with Sarcoidosis 5 years ago, but am now in remission, I am an asthmatic and take a preventative inhaler. I am not a good sleeper , probably because of this, I hate going to sleep. Someone asked earlier about general anathesia, when I was a child I was gassed to have baby teeth removed, it was a sickening experience and I often wonder whether some lucid dreams and those I can’t wake up dreams come from that experience.

BTW I am 39 and Female. And this occurs more often mid cycle.

All the best to you all.


Helen April 7, 2008, 10:28 am

I have just experienced EHS for the first time, I’m 43, in good health, never taken drugs, don’t smoke or drink and take very little caffine. The only thing I’ve suffered from is stress and lack of sleep.

I do feel there may also be a spiritual connection. I could not sleep after it happened and found myself recalling past events and evaluation my life to-date so to speak. It was a weird feeling – like a wake up call. All I can say is I felt pretty good after it.

Am I NUTS or has anyone else experienced similar?

mavin April 16, 2008, 5:25 pm

I started getting these about 2 or 3 years ago. But in my case it sounds like a heavy door slamming shut. To be honest when I realized the sounds were in my head and nowhere else, I thought I was going crazy. I have really just started to check into this. I know there is no cure, but has anyone found a way to help it?

Sean-Canada April 16, 2008, 11:54 pm

I just the same thing but prior to going through it i was aware of my surroundings before the bang like i was over my bed watching myself for a split second then bang & i’m scampering to my feet!


estelle April 20, 2008, 12:19 am

I had my first explosion about a month ago. Since this had never happened before, I had a CAT scan, an MRI/MRA, EKG, stress test, the works and nobody can explain to me what happened. The reports only show what I don’t have. No tumors, no cancer, no sign of an aneurysm, no bleeding, no swelling, etc. So it rules out a lot of things, but I was told there is nothing else to do. I have had mild headache in the back of my head and am doing physical therapy to relieve pain in my neck and shoulders. This seems to help.

Alex April 20, 2008, 7:58 am

I know this is not EHS related but I’ve been reading through many of these comments and couldn’t help but notice that Tom’s experience that he mentioned on 03.06.2008 regarding the large “presence” by his bed sounds a little similar to what Nadine wrote on 10.21.2006……..Am I the only one who noticed – or perhaps I have too much time on my hands?

Helen April 21, 2008, 11:00 pm

I had my first night time EHS experiences last night, when I heard a bang in my head accompanied by a bright flash of light that seemed to originate in the middle of my head and spread out from there. Then I went back to sleep and awoke some time later with the same symptoms.

Now comes the nutty bit… When the EHS happened, I was staying at my mother’s house, in a room where I had a few years ago seen a figure of a man standing at the end of the bed watching me (basically it was a “ghost”). Her house is 400 years old and has a reputation for being haunted, so when staying there I am always a bit scared. But, I stick it out, because I don’t see why I should be scared of ghosts. In a way, I’d like to help them.

From reading the posts, I’m beginning to get an idea of some kind of bigger picture. I liked Tom’s post about the bang in his head coming after a prayer he’d done, and he felt like the bang kind of cleared away the spirit (or whatever it was) that was at the end of his bed paralysing him.

I can honestly say that I did enjoy the bangs and light in my head, even though I was scared, and did feel it was ghostly.

However, I could just take the “scientific” angle. I have a lot of the pre-disposing factors that other posters have noted. I have whiplash from an accident a few months ago, tingling fingers when I carry a rucksack, suggesting some kind of nerve involvement. I have also suffered from high fevers a lot, which led to night terrors for most of my childhood. So, is it just that my nerves/electrical impulses have been messed up?

Also, one guy mentioned that people with EHS dream of things getting smaller or bigger. On the night I had EHS, I dreamt that the world was getting smaller by about a third, and I was having trouble fitting in!

The other thing I want to say, as I think its best to be honest, is that I now realise that I have had EHS during the day, after I’ve had a heavy night on drink and drugs, and felt rough, I’ve felt an electrical-shock type tingly spreading up from the base of my neck, into my head, really hot, then the bright light and a bang, and then I normally fall on the floor, can’t see anything, just blackness, and sometimes, my legs will thrash on the floor. This hasn’t happened for years now, and did only happen when I’d over done it.

Anyway, does anyone else think that the EHS is connected with paranormal phenomena? Or am I just nuts?!!

Zoe April 22, 2008, 7:19 pm

Hurray!! Since I was nineteen (I am 35 now) I have had the night explosions. Just recently they have been coupled with really malevolent night terrors, where I feel in a min I will die. I half wake up after the “explosion” to spinning, being dragged “down” through the bed and really “trippy” visual hallucanations. This resulted in one night my husband finding me trying to escape out of the bedroom window with me screaming “ITS THE END OF THE WORLD”…… VERY VERY scary and extremely disturbing.

I have taken some recreational drugs in past, but I am married with a family now and the problem seems to be worse than ever! I suffer with migraines, neck ache and vertigo and am sOOOOOOOOOOOO happy to have read these blogs and maybe I will relax a little when these periods return. Yes, it does seem to be linked with being over tired/worked and stressed. I am still on anti depressants seven years after the birth of my child, so have never mentioned it to the doctor in fear of her sending me to the loony bin!!

Jesse April 30, 2008, 2:21 pm

I’ve had EHS for years and it correlates to stress and fatigue for me too. Is often preceded by a short, intensifying electrical sound; then the ear-shattering explosion, then all associated fear responses i.e. adrenaline, complete awareness, increased heart rate etc.

My partner has Hypnagogic jerks – a sudden limb movement while falling asleep which some have conjectured might be a result of “the brain misinterprets relaxation as the sleeping primate falling out of a tree” (Coolidge 2006).

My conjecture is that exploding head syndrome may be the result of an errant fear response to the normal loss of consciousness associated with sleep, but which has somehow been misidentified as a threat to life, thus causing a reaction to rouse conscious awareness. This might correlate well with fatigue and stress which could potentially dull our better senses and cause our brains to revert to more primal modes of survival and/or be more prone to misidentifying threats to consciousness (as per the primate falling out of the tree hypothesis for hypnagogic jerks).

For the record I’m a male, 29, have taken various recreational drugs, have a stressful job and often don’t get enough sleep. I’ve been getting EHS since I was approximately 20 years old, and suffer approximately 3 – 5 isolated instances annually, but sometimes have a run of several within a limited time frame too, though this has only occurred 2 – 3 times in the nine or so years that I’ve been getting them.

Oli April 30, 2008, 7:32 pm

This has been happening to me since about the age of 17 i’m now 27 and for ages really scared me not knowing what it was. I also experience quite frequent lucid dreams, sleep paralysis and out of body experiences whilst sleeping. My EHS is almost always like the noise you hear when you put your head out of a car window thats going fast and always happens when I’ve just gone to sleep. For a long time I would wake myself up as this can be very scary plus I wasn’t sure if it was actually damaging my ears somehow. I wake up breathless and heart racing.
As time went on and I became used to this happening I would see how long I could stand it and how intense the noise could become. What I now believe is that this noise is the passing from one state of consciousness to another. The reason being that now what happens is I’m able to concerntrate on the noise as it intensifys controling it to a certain extent it then fades leaving me dreaming in a lucid state. It’s like flying really fast through thick noisy clouds not knowing when they finish then with much relief you suddenly fly out of them into clear open skys! Amazing I think. Whats more is that this is now often followed by out of body experiences. I don’t much about them or what they really are but I seemingly lift off my bed and am able to look back at my body lying in bed. The first time this happened I was very scared but just by thinking “I want to be back down there with my body” I went back down and woke myself up immediately. I’ve tried leaving my bedroom whilst in these states but without success. I’ve also been aware that at that level of consciousness I’ve not been alone in my room. This might be a feeling of being pulled by something or actually seeing somebody sat on the end of my bed. This scared me loads! Waking myself up after this the difference i feel between the two states of conciousness is worlds apart. Not like dreaming where you often believe the dream to be real then wake and realise you were dreaming. I awake knowing that it wasn’t real at at all but it also was nothing like an average dream.

If anyone has similar experiences or knows anything about these kind of experiences I’d be intriged to hear about it. Or any websites books etc..

laila May 1, 2008, 5:18 am

Wow I was helping daughter with a report on sleep and saw this link. I think i had one too! I was about 27 and had a headache, had taken some sudafed and drank 2 cups coffee (which I touch neither now as I found out I have anxiety and panic attacks) and then BANG I felt a red orange explosion in my head, this was while sitting at desk, in the day, not real loud that i can remember,more like a flash of pain, but I freaked out completely thought i was dying and called 911! Now I seem to remember my heart was already starting to race as if panic setting in. I called the neighbor who found me lying on the floor having a panic attack. By the time the emts got here i was calmed down and they did an xray and said sinus infection. But since then never happened again. And my sinus infectins ended up being migraines. I really though my brain exploded. I can’t beleive how long this post is and why it takes the internet for me to get half my diagnosis!!! Anywone wake up shaking really bad? I take beta blockers and antianxiety meds can’t get it to stop or find any help.(sorry but I am desperate) Wow. I hated when it happened. But I do feel better nowthat I know WHAT IT WAS. I have had mri’s too I cut out the caffeine and smoking I have always been prone to over stimulation. Then the Generalied Anxiety dx. Almost hate to say this but does it sound like a few of these people have had encounters with aliens? didn’t want to go there but it sounds too familiar with things i have read.

Ruby May 2, 2008, 9:17 am

Everytime I read this thread I’m amazed how similar peoples stories are with mine or have written things I’ve been too lazy to write. I like the way someone described the sound as sticking your head out the window of a car. I find if you put both the palms of your hands tightly around your ears it makes a noise similar to the start of an explosion. However this sound builds up to a major intensity and is often accompanied by a piercing noise. I also agree it has something to do with going into a different state of or lack of consciousness. It’s obviously nowhere near as terrifying but I sometimes compare it to waking up during surgery when you’re supposed to be asleep and feeling something your body’s supposed to be tuned out to. Worse yet you can’t move to tell anyone that you’re aware of what’s happening.
I too have very odd hallucinations straight after forcing myself awake, but I’m grateful I’m not frightened of them, more intrigued at the bizarre way our minds work. I hate the thought that not only are people dealing with these awful head explosions but they also think they are seeing aliens. YOU ARE NOT SEEING ALIENS!!!! It’s very normal to sense something or someone in the room during and straight after sleep paralysis. It’s amazing how real it all feels and how bizarre the ‘things’ you see (as well as hear) but its very much one of them moments when ‘the greatest thing there is to fear is fear itself.’I’ll stop with the quotes now.

Jessica May 2, 2008, 10:43 am

Tonight as I was dozing off I had for the second time an episode of what I now know is EHS. My question to fellow suffers is…has anyone found it to be a symptom of another disorder or disease???
For the past three months I have been suffering from an array of symptoms. Such as chronic neck pain, upper back pain, tightness in left side of neck, ear ringing, pulse in ears, muffled hearing in left ear, sinus pain, pain in back of head, fatigue, lightheadedness, etc. I also suffer from rapid and pounding heart beat that is most often worse 30 minutes after I eat a meal.
I have had bloodwork done and the Dr. ruled out thyroid conditions, diabetes, anemia, and kidney/liver dysfunction. All blood counts returned normal. I also had a brain MRI a year ago, after suffering from blurred vision and headaches, that returned clear. ANY IDEAS???

Claudia May 6, 2008, 12:43 pm

The loud bang is one of many signs that you have been “out of body,” which our souls–or “energy bodies”–do every night when we are asleep. Here are some other symptoms:
A jolt or jerk-awake sensation
Unusual sound such as buzzing, humming, or roaring sound
Vibrations or high-energy sensations
Floating, falling, sinking, or spinning sensations
Sleep paralysis (being unable to move upon awakening)
Flying in a dream
Being touched or lifted
Panic attack, overwhelming surge of fear created by strange vibrations or sounds
Hearing voices, footsteps
Seeing through closed eyelids
Lucid dreams, (becoming consciously aware that you are dreaming)
Seeing or feeling the presence of an unknown non physical being
Seeing, hearing or speaking to a deceased loved one

Approximately 50 million people have had an out-of-body experience (OBE); most are unconscious, but you can also train yourself to have a conscious OBE.

sachin May 21, 2008, 4:26 pm

Check if you have been taking caffine (or other stimulatory
chemicals) in some form ( including
energy drinks or guarana seeds and rest of the herbal
hulabaloo). Also certain other herbs like maca root
extract, horny-goat weed etc.

Caffine greater than a certain level in the blood tends to
cause acoustic hallucinations. I also discovered that horny
goat weed causes this, when i tried the recommended dose
from a GNC purchased bottle.

The big-bangs and shouting stopped after I totally stopped
my caffine and horny-goat weed intake. I started drinking
lots of water throughout the day.

most of the time, anything un-explained is thought as
spiritual..but spiritual experiences are also nervous in
nature and mostly related to serotonin activity in the

pl let me know if this helped you.

take care

Andy May 30, 2008, 7:30 am

Wow. I have experienced this too. Didn’t know the name until tonight. It was always kinda freaky but never worried me (too much). Seems some don’t know based on the questions but EHS is completely benign according to almost every source I can find.

mcl52 May 31, 2008, 3:53 am

Well I just looked up banging noise in head and got sent to this site. For me it is not really much of a banging as what it feels like some kind of electrical charge with a whoosh sound. It has happen quite a few times in recent years right before I fall to sleep. For me I also think it is caffeine related as I am a big coffee drinker. I have never drank nor done any drugs so I know those are not the cause.

I do not think a loud bang should just be ignored if that is what you experience. Most probably are from this EHS but some are not. A very good friend of mine suffered a terrible stroke. She is completely paralyzed on her right side and when I ask her what happened during it, she says it woke her up at 8 AM and all she remembers is that she heard a loud bang inside her head and then she was paralyzed.

kp June 4, 2008, 3:45 am

Has anyone noticed ehs is worse or more common depending on weather or atmosphere? I experienced it quite a few times in colorado and moved to michigan 2 months later. Still had some episodes but have subsided greatly. been here 2 years. It also coincides with less stress I think. Just wondering. I may move back to co.
Also I saw a show on Discovery I believe while in a restaurant, talking about the human body and a segment on hearing. I could only barely see the subtitles as it was muted. but what I could make of the show was that there are lots of electrical things happening when the brain shuts down to sleep and sometimes you can hear these things but normally you don’t. wish I couldve seen that episode !
I only have had noises, different types and volumes. Scared to death at first till I found this board. How many of you have had it moderately your whole life? How many have had it become worse over the years? I can live with this as it is, but the scarier stories on this page freak me out! I hope its not a progressive thing?!

Sue June 9, 2008, 7:32 pm

I had my first ‘big bang’ 8 years ago – after the birth of my first son, I went for a Reiki session – reason being at the time was that it was somewhere to lie down and rest after a lot of sleepless nights !

I dutifully ‘went asleep’ while the therapist worked on me – I don’t know for how long untill, suddenly I heard a loud gun shot sound and a flash of bright light while at the same time in siloute (?) I saw, what at the time seemed to me be an egyptian eye (I thought I was remembering an interest I had had from my childhood and just excepted it) I asked the therapist afterwards if she knew what had happened. she said that she had not been doing therapies for very long and she thought it may be the third eye chakra symbol.

Anyway I went home – not feeling as relaxed as I had hoped and looked up this third eye chakra and was blown away to find the exact symbol I had seen .. in the centre of my head .. !! Can’t expalin it any clearer.

I had a precognitive dream (about a break-in) before my son’s birth .. and have had one or two since plus a few other experiences.

I also get the head zaps – especially if i’m over tired.

pokai June 12, 2008, 1:44 pm

bangs! oftens with a flash of light. With me its more of a *schwuung!!!* then a bang tho. Or a sort of crackle

i find that with me, its much related to the amout of partydrugs i use..

TT June 15, 2008, 6:46 am


I have been experiencing this for years! I thought it was signs of something far worse so I didn’t really talk about it. I thought I was the only one.

I generally live on caffeine a very little sleep… of course work is stressful, but then again when isn’t it.

It is almost always like a guitar amp unplugging in my head with a rush of electricity and light banging through my head. Only 1 time was it a series of buzzing with the sound of someone speaking in bursts… then again that was hour 36 of hard work & caffiene!

Luke June 17, 2008, 3:33 am

Wow, seems alot of people other than me suffer from this. As so many, many, many people have said, it’s great to know that I’m not alone. I normally experience it as like a whooshing noise that starts small then becomes really huge and explodes, all over 1 or 2 seconds.

I also get multiple attacks at a shot, up to 10 explosions at a go. It only happens to me when i don’t sleep the whole night and only sleep in the morning. I’ve also only ever experienced it while falling asleep, never while waking up.

I gotta say though, the name of this syndrome is cool. I tell people i have “exploding-head syndrome” and i get all sorts of funny reactions.

Just thought i’d share my experience with my fellow EHS sufferers.

A G Gordon June 23, 2008, 2:34 pm

As one of the very few publishing on EHS, I am just as frustrated as many of those on this site at the lack of progress. In 1988 I proposed a simple explanation for EHS in The Lancet, yet no one seems to have read this or even cited it, here or elsewhere. Part of the problem is that it is on a protected site, ie subscription-based. I cannot easily access it myself. The gist of my mini-review was that EHS is definitely of peripheral origin, arising in the ear not the brain. Many comments above here mentioning various audiological and vestibular symptoms strongly corroborate this.
As to the exact mechanism, I am not totally sure. The most likely is a sudden springing open of the Eustachian tube(s). I have just reread the definitive article on ET function by Jago in 1867. He notes “the instantaneous explosion of the symptoms in tympanic catarrh has long been regarded by Toynbee and others as due to the reopening of a long-closed” ET. Jago experienced this phenomenon in his own ears, variously described as a loud rip or crack, explosion or restoration of aural function “with the suddenness and crack as of an electric spark”. However, he does not think this is due to the ET springing open!
What does everyone else think? Does anyone think EHS is connected with Patulous Eustachian Tubes?

Lindy June 28, 2008, 8:49 pm

Hi anyone reading..
I pop back her every few weeks to read the comments.. I posted here some while back about my own experiences.
In case it helps anyone I would like to add that I have been diagnosed with sensitivities to certain chemicals in foods (ie sulphites and salicylates) and intolerances to other foods such as wheat….
Too long a story to discuss here but I would just like to mention that I have been on an elimination diet and my particular “electric” whoosh only now comes back when I have eaten foods that my body does not like.
Lindy xx

Annabelle July 2, 2008, 11:29 am

I think everyone should have their upper cervical spine checked for misalignments. Most of the symptoms I’ve read here, such as anxiety, ear pain, migraines and dizziness can be triggered by trauma to the head, neck or upper back.

Kenneth July 11, 2008, 11:01 am

I have had it on and off for 40 years. When I was 20 I went to my local library in Copenhagen (no internet then) and found a book that described EHS – although it didn´t have a name at that point. It explained that the bang occurred when the body relaxed from a high level of stress. It is sort of like af rubber band being streched out and released. But it would be much more comforting if the reason was something happening in the ear.

Graham July 12, 2008, 10:57 am


Thanks a lot to the guy who first posted this, as reading most of the posts has given me some reassurance that I don’t have some deadly brain disease.

I experienced this phenomonen for the first time the night before last and it scared the proverbial out of me. Being on about 8 drugs for psoriatic arthritis irregular heartbeat etc I wondered if, after 3 years, it was catching up with me.

I’ve been under a lot of stress lately plus some back pain so maybe it’s down to that. Interestingly my hearing has been getting worse over the last 6 months so perhaps the ET problem described above has something to do with it as well.

Brandon July 19, 2008, 5:50 am

Although EHS is surrounded by mystery. I find it quite odd that my EHS episodes are nearly identicle to former peaks during usage of LSD & Shrooms.

Years later, the sensation came back, it scares me quite a bit now, though I recognized it and contributed it to the drug use and accidently discovered EHS while researching brain tumor information.

I find it amazing that people who have not used these drugs can have that feeling. I can no doubt see how it would really scare the crap out of someone.

Now that I have the feeling while totally sober; I wonder how I ever enjoyed it as much as I did. I literally had my brain trained to reproduce it once it hit. Once I would get the sensation, I learned how to make it come back numerous times, consecutivly.

I could write for hours about it but I’ve said enough.

Joanna Tober, Ph.D. August 8, 2008, 1:32 pm

Dear AG Gordon,

I tried to find your letter in the Lancet online and will have to move to the stacks. What university are you affiliated with and are you currently studying EHS? I have not been able to access two new 2008 publications on the topic but was called “Exploding head syndrome: report of two new cases”. I find it hilarious that after experiencing EHS and reading this post that cases are considered rare, but rare enough that when I described it to my doctor (before I knew a name for it) she looked at me like I was making it up that it felt like I was being painfully electrocuted (my most common symptom is always associated with this pain) or occasionally heard loud explosions during some stage of sleep. It can be pretty alarming when it feels like someone is jabbing you in the ribs with a taser gun or your brain is being fried by electricity.

Fortunately, EHS episodes are sporadic and rare. Unfortunately, it would be nearly impossible to observe the attacks during a sleep study- unless subjects would agree to sleep in a lab for an entire year!

As an academic or scientist, I hope you return to this post to keep us updated on current EHS research.


anthea August 10, 2008, 8:21 am

I know you all make comment on the sounds but I have just had my third attack in 3 weeks. The first was not a sound but a nerve explosion in the right hand of my brain promptly followed by my eyes feeling as if they are being thrown from side to side. The brain felt like it was in a centrifuge. I thought I was having a stroke. All followed by tingling in my hands and extremely distressing dizziness. My attacks come when I am just coming out of sleep. The dizziness stays with me for hours. I feel nausious for a long time.
My neurologist diagnosed EHS after seeing a clear cat scan.

Now after my third attack it is the dizziness or the close to being dizzy that I feel so upsetting and I am fighting my inclination to panic so hard.

I know I have been told that I am not going to die with this but not many of you mention about the dizziness and tingling or the fact that I feel I have no control over eye movements when it happens.
I am a 60 year old woman.

thank you for giving me the opportunity to share this

A G Gordon August 20, 2008, 6:37 pm

To Joanna
I am an independent researcher writing on a variety of medical and scientific journals. I read many journals, but by far the most useful information on EHS is on this site. SITE MANAGERS; PLEASE PRESERVE THIS INFORMATION INDEFINITELY.

To Anthea
The inner ear contains the organs of hearing and of balance. Deafness or dizziness separately could theoretically come from any part of the nervous system, but when very odd auditory and vestibular symptoms are associated, as in some cases of EHS, this is very strong evidence that something very strange is going on in the ear and not in the brain

artsmode September 10, 2008, 10:53 pm

One hell of a write up this.
I’ve had this complaint for over 13 years but it started ONLY after a serious illness. I had heartfailure and was out dead for a prolonged period of time without oxygen.
I was lucky they tell me to recover Anyway obviously I did..
From then on I have experienced EVERY night when trying to fall asleep these explosions. I’ve found them very disturbing and it spoils what should be a pleasant time snuggling down on your pillow. I even found myself lying awake waiting for them to happen.
The medics can’t say exactly what they are and there does not seem to be any known medical relief.
I guess to know all you people suffer the same is a relief in some way.
I can say that I believe it is directly related to a degree of TIREDNESS, lack of sleep etc as it worsens under those conditionsd with me. I have also experienced this whilst awake sitting up but with much less force.

Lou September 23, 2008, 11:29 am

I am going to comment on what was said in the beginning.
“Every so often, I’ll be laying in bed in a light sleep, when I’ll hear a loud bang that startles me awake, only to find there really was no sound.”

I have had this happen to me. I turn to my girlfreind and say, “did you hear something” she says ya. and I am like “what the hell was that.” It is a very LOUD, Quick sound. Like when you drop a thick phone book on the floor perfectly. BAM. Only happens late at night while sleeping. Sound appears to come from roof or attic.

I was just talking to my sister and her boyfreind in Lake Placid NY. 7 hours away. During a light conversation this subject was brought up. We all got freaked out when I described the sound. They have also experienced this.

Is this sound in our heads or really happening ?

Lou N.

Cica October 1, 2008, 2:58 pm

The other day, I was taking a nap, and just as I began to really get into the sleep, there was a white lightning strike, going from the middle right to far left side of my brain and then an explosion at the end of the strike. It was like a fireworks going off in my brain. Needless to say, it woke me up. Anyone got an idea what happened?

Craig October 11, 2008, 6:51 pm

Yes, you have “Exploding Head Syndrome”..

Kris October 19, 2008, 1:01 pm

I’ve been reading through these posts and wondering about my symptoms. Lately I’ve been waking up suddenly during that moment when I’m about to drift off to sleep. I don’t hear any noises, but my head will lightly thump (it doesn’t hurt really, just feels like a heightened pulse or something) when I wake up and I see patterns (nothing overly bright) in front of my eyes. I know I’ve been hitting the caffeine a bit more than normal and not getting enough sleep and under a little extra stress (but nothing overly serious). When I wake up my heart feels like it’s racing, but if I take my pulse it’s not seriously fast.

Jeff November 1, 2008, 1:17 am

On three ocassions, I had attacks of a sonic boom which woke me from a deep sleep. Just before falling asleep, I had severe stomach cramps for up to 6 hours.

I am now experiencing swelling of my parotid glad, which is found in the back of the cheek, just below and forward of the ear.

I had been under severe stress weeks before these attacks, but did not seem to under stress at the time of these attacks. Since then, I have tried to explain these attcks with my other symptoms. I was advised to seek stress therapy and the sonic booms or stomach cramps have not returned, but the swelling has continued. I also have a white patch on my face. I was then diagnosed with shingles.

Has anyone else had a similar experience? I do not think it is just EHS, but wondered if anyone else has additional health issues isnce having these experiences.

Chuck717 November 28, 2008, 4:18 pm

I’ve been experiencing this for the past few years ever since I beagna taking hydrocodone for chronic pain.

At first I was concerned about my sanity. The initial sounds were like a voice speaking very softly and quickly next to my ear. About a year later, the sounds became muffled thumps and a sudden, rising, hissing static.

I researched it on the internet before talking to my doctor. He told me that was wise of me, since the first symptoms would have made him thing “psychological”.

Occassionally I get the flashes of light, not intense, more like a weak flashlight beam. Rarely do I get the really loud bangs.

The only annoying part of this that I have trouble adapting to is the “voice”. It is always one single word, it is never clear and distinct, and the only reason it sounds like a voice is that my brain is trying to translate it that way.

I suspect mine is a combination of tinnitus, caffeine use, and prescription drugs.

Now that I know it is not dangerous, I feel a lot better about it.

More so, since I am clearly not alone.

Just out of curiousity, is there by chance a support group out there?

Something like: The Exploding Head Society?

How could would THAT membership card be?

Andy. (from England) December 2, 2008, 12:29 am

Hello, I found this site while reading a post on an unrelated forum, I’m really glad that it’s not just me, I’ve been having the ‘Gunshot & white flash’ for about ten years or so.
For the record I’m 36, married, 2 kids and have mildish cerebral palsey and asthma.
When it first happened I really thought that someone had broke into my house and shot me in the face, until I noticed that my wife was asleep next to me. I generally get them about once a month or so, even after 10 years they still scare the hell out of me.
Also, I have also seen ‘Shadow Figures’ quite often, I thought it was my imagination until my wife started to insist that we shut the bedroom door at night,(we used to keep it open as the kids were still small) after a while she mentioned that the reason for shutting it was she had seen adult size figures on the stairs a few times, checked on the kids rooms and the rest of the house to find nobody there and the kids sound asleep. The weird thing is I don’t only see them out of the corner of my eye, I can look right at them, does anyone else find this?
Now and again I hear my name being said which when I’m very tired/dozing, somtimes it’s quiet as if in another room other times it sounds like it’s being shouted in my ears, strangely enough sometimes it sounds like my Dad who died in 2000, it usually happens when I’m meant to be doing something important that day, whether there’s a connection there I’m not sure other times it’s a womans voice or a child crying.
As I said in the begining of my post, I’m glad that it’s not just me who’s having these things.

Nasrullah Khan December 9, 2008, 2:02 pm

I have been experiencing audible explosions inside my head since last 20 years. It started with use of pulsed laser in lab and I have discussed many doctors in UK, Malaysia, KSA and Pakistan all doctors have failed to understand it. I feel better with a cup of cold milk and one tablet of relaxin. Kindly tell me if there is any wayout of this evil disease.

Horacio (from San Francisco, Calif.) December 18, 2008, 11:19 am

It is 2:41 AM and I just finished experiencing two brain explosions in a row.
It began 3 to 4 weeks ago while I was in a deep sleep. The first time it happened I really thought I was going to die that very moment. It is hard to describe it but I felt as if a blood vessel broke inside my head and I ran to the bathroom thinking I was going to vomit blood.
I have had migranes all my life and take medication for it. I am under a lot of stress lately and just last week I visited my doctor because my left ear was hurting and I was dizzy all the time. I used this opportunity to describe to him my “brain explosions” episodes and he looked at me like I was crazy. He attributed it to acid reflex since I’ve been having those from time to time. He told me that it was probably my brain telling my body to wake up because you are about to have an acid reflex attack. I’ve been taking Nexium religiously since he prescribed it again, but the explosions have not stopped.

I came down to the kitchen to drink herbal tea and decided to google what I thought was the best description I could come up with: deep sleep brain explosions. That search brought me here to this site and I’m being conforted to find that I may not die from my next ocurrence and that I’m not alone.
Unlike many of the experiences I read here, my explosions are less noise and more colorful: blues and yellows and, again, a sense of blood or liquids exploding. I get up from my bed so rapidly that it is amazing… I feel that by doing that I just avoided death. What a horrible feeling this is.
By reading all your experiences and knowing there is a name for it, EHS, I feel better now. This experience as you all know is quite devastating and I only want to return to normality sometime soon.


klaireyb December 22, 2008, 4:22 pm

All of you google OBE.or Kundalini

There are millions of people having EXACTLY the same things happen to them … make it YOUR buisness to reasearch what is happening t you. Whats really scary is that most of you dudes think that a docter will cure you with drugs!!! Thats plain weird, Oh that will make you better, dose you up with chemicals to try to cover any thing up that doesnt fit into your little box that you call normal, whos crazy here?!!!

There are many of us now that have these things and more than you can imagine happen, there are countless books written with exercises on how to make this happen, people will pay for this stuff to happen to them. Until you learn to embrace this and learn what it really is you will continue like the last person to post before me call it evil…wake up….and embrace it.

mikem January 2, 2009, 10:19 pm

Yes, I have had this for years. Its more annoying than anything else. Its like a mild electrical zap in my brain. Sometimes a few times/night.

robin January 4, 2009, 6:02 am

My son is eight years old. He was born with “extrodinary” athletic abilities. The downside is that he can’t handle when he doesn’t excel to the extent of what (I guess) he perceives to be his “ability”. When this happens, (on only three different occasions now–tonight being one of them) he experiences a suddent “lightening like attack” in the upper right portion of his head and SCREAMS OOW OOW OOW OOW OOOOOOOOOOW and runs away. Afterwards (one minute or so) he explains the feeling as a “lightening like pain in the top right portion of his head and then a “gel” like “squishy” feeling like he is falling or fainting.

This has happened now three times (including tonight) when he became very upset about losing in a video basketball game and the one right before while playing basketball in our driveway (and losing).

I know he must learn that he CAN’T ALWAYS WIN but do you think this could be EHS because of the stress he is enduring due to not performing to “what HE believes is necessary within his ability to perform athletically?

Does anybody think these three instances sound like EHS? (He told me after an in debth conversation that this is the “third” time it has happened). I can’t describe the first time but my neighbor did confirm the outdoor basketball incident.)

I would welcome any advice/thoughts?

Ray January 13, 2009, 2:28 am

This has just started happening to me. I believe it is stress related. I have been under a lot of stress for a long time and even more has just been added. I found several sights that suggested taking L-Tyrosene. I took two for several days and it seemed to help until last night. I thought maybe I would take a third just before bedtime since it had been six hours since the last. About 45 minutes later as I had just dozed off, BANG, a huge flash of light. Being an electrician by trade, I was actually waiting for the shock and to see if I would be minus any body parts. Within seconds I realized the light was in my head, not around me. I don’t know if there is anything that can be done about it, or if it will even happen again. Is it stress related or the L-Tyrosene?????

Kirsten January 14, 2009, 8:50 pm

Phew .. I’ve just been woken up from my second experience with this exploding head syndrome. And I am so relieved that there is a great site that has put many of my concerns to ease. It’s good to know I’m not the only one out there.

Jeanne January 22, 2009, 10:28 pm

I finally called a pharmacist today to see if my Lorazepam
that I had just ingested before sleep was causing the electric buzz in my head, which is usually when this occurs. They assured me it wasn’t medication.

I also experience nightly “bed” noises like a “chu chu chu”
like my bottom mattress is going back and forth over my
top mattress. I have also experienced, like, a fist come up through the mattress (still under the mattress covering) and felt it touch my back. This all seems to occur at the same time every night — 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. Then, one morning I was watching TV in bed at 10:00 a.m. and the whole bed started vibrating. Also, one night when I was awake, the pillowcase next to me turned an illuminating red color like if someone had stuck a flashlight under the pillowcase.

Then, as if those things aren’t enough, I hear music playing. It’s not like the radio is on. It’s usually eerie-like funeral music. I did make out a Christmas song one night like Jingle Bells, but it was veeery slow. It seems like the music thing is somehow a separate thing.

My mom thinks it could be ghosts. I’m just sick of the whole thing, because it wakes me up and I have a hard time getting enough sleep anyway — stress, stress, stress!

Javadusk January 25, 2009, 7:15 am

I have been having weird experiences since I was a small child, things like an eye appearing to me as soon as it got dark and stayed with me till I fell asleep, even if I closed my eyes it would be there and this lasted for many many months every night. Then one night a weeks after my husband passed away I was still awake and suddenly felt this enormous weight on me and I could hardly breathe. This was accompanied by an excruciatingly loud high pitched piercing noise in my left ear. I was terrified and when I tried to move I was paralysed. I had the sensation of something sinister coming towards me and I fought (mentally) to shake off the paralysis. In the end I was exhausted and gave over to whatever was in the room and suddenly I was off floating outside and was conscious of a colod wind rushing past me as I travelled over buildings etc. I have experienced this MANY TIMES all with exactly the same manifestations/symptoms and it always terrifies me until I’m off floating/soaring.

Ryan January 26, 2009, 7:27 am

I’m so glad to have found this forum! I’ve been experiencing this for almost 10 years now, and while it doesn’t happen but once every couple of months, it’s enough to make me nervous about falling asleep.

Thoughts of brain tumors, strokes, etc were a worry for me before I found this information; although I’m young (27), I’m overweight and I smoke. Unhealthy, I know… I was always scared to mention anything to a doc, as I just knew it would be bad news…

Anyway, glad to know I’m not alone, and this likely won’t kill me. Incidentally, I can relate most to those who talk about a loud (EXTREMELY loud) electrical bang with a white flash of light just as I’m falling asleep. Normally there are no other symptoms (other than anxiety), but last night I had one, and when the sound (explosion?) happened there was pain and after my head seemed to tingle. Not sure if that was “real” though, or if it was just psychological…

shirley March 8, 2009, 7:24 pm

I just cant believe I have found a web site where people have experienced what I do. The loud bang happens usually when just drifting off to sleep. I started having these turns when i was looking after my dad who has since passed away. It has made me feel a lot better reading this as I know people who have never had this could not describe in detail the above comments. Just hope it all wears off and goes as quick as it came.

Robin March 11, 2009, 9:05 am

Whoopee! I’ve had a bang in my head just before falling asleep almost every night now for over two years. Doctor sent me to a sleep lab where they wired me up and told me to doze off. (This was in the very early morning, so that part wasn’t hard.) There wasn’t any bang then, and they couldn’t find anything peculiar going on. My doctor was mystified, but since it seemed the bang was doing me no harm, except waking me up as I fell asleep, we’ve left it alone.

The reason I’m writing this is that tonight, as ever, it happened. It woke me up as ever, and I decided the web might provide an answer. Eh voila. Exploding Head Syndrome. I love it. Really sounds like something extraordinary. I’m glad to be a member of the club, now I know there is one.

I can vouch for it being an over fifty sort of thing. I just had my 76th birthday, and am still hoping to go to sleep at night without interruption. I’ve given up coffee, chocolate and anything else which might interfere, but no luck. I’ve managed to get rid of stress almost entirely and feel mellow most of the time. I don’t drink or smoke, and never have. I’ve even gone to the extent of losing weight — 26 pounds — but that has made no difference either.

I considered printing out everything I found here, but that would keep me up all night. I’ll tackle that exercise tomorrow and save it for bedtime reading. Probably it will be so stimulating that I’ll be up all tomorrow night too.

The pleasant side of this thing is that on good night, when the bang doesn’t wake me up, it tells me I’ll be asleep before I know it, and then I am.

Eek March 18, 2009, 11:41 pm


If he can ‘run away’ then it’s not EHS. EHS occurs when you are asleep.

Polly April 6, 2009, 10:28 pm

I had the brain zaps the other night so decided to see if others had the same thing, hence my comment.
Falling asleep…ZAP…I am awakened…And wide awake I hear a second ZAP. I just turn over and then it is gone.
I have had these over the years…not consistent. Just a ZAP like an electrical charge. I live near a lot of government security in northern Virginia so I amusingly thought some air traffic blocks were in operation and affecting me somehow.
No lights. No headaches.
The person with the pulsing in the ear does hear their pulse.
When you listen to the ocean in a seashell you actually hear your the blood rushing in your veins.
The person with the rapid heartbeat in the morning might have stress and probably high blood pressure. I have had that and awakened in shock. It is gone as the stress has gone.

Eric Estep April 18, 2009, 7:51 pm

I started having Brain zaps and a few EHS episodes right after being prescribed the antibiotic Cipro . I thought a lighning bolt went thru my head into my chest one night . Very trippy .Since then I have 24/7 Tinnitus (ear-ringing)and also Hyperacusis (sound sensitivity)if I get really tired . Also watch your sodium,caffiene and sugar intake , cut back on these. Don”t eat anything 3 hours or less before bed . If all else fails try cannibis therapy , 2 puffs a few hours before bed keeps some insomniacs and folks with night-terrors from having too intense dreams , you might just enjoy it too. LOL. ~Eric~

cari April 20, 2009, 10:49 pm

this has been happening to me and my mother more frequently now oeve rthe past few months. It is like a supernova in your head.Usually it happens between waking and sleep states but early this morning it happened while i was lying there awake. Hmmm. I believe it has to do with our cosmic location, entering the photon belt and the affects on our pineal gland.

Startled DC April 29, 2009, 9:34 pm

I just had my first EHS, least the first one I can remember. I was just sitting here at my desk, and BANG! I was sure it was an old .22 long rifle shell spontaneously going off. But, no gunpowder smell, no evidence of an accidental discharge, nothing.

The only thing I can think of is that my right ear has been bothering me today, a feeling of pressure and tenderness when I press on it, like when I used to get ear aches all the time when I was a kid.

After the incredibly loud noise, the pressure seems to have left, and the tenderness is gone. Maybe that’s all it was, something suddenly released causeing a sensation of a loud gunshot. Oh well, guess time will tell if I’m developing EHS.

LJ May 19, 2009, 2:33 pm

I just had one! What ever this anomaly is, it seems to be kinda common based on the amount of blog responses.

I had just finished eating breakfast. I had a cup of coffee, scrambled eggs, and some bacon on toast. I usually, don’t cook my eggs in the microwave but, if prepared the correct way, its actually pretty easy. Of course, the turkey bacon is always best when nuked in the micro too…

As I relaxed on the couch waiting for the morning 8am ish local news to return from a quick commercial, I had dozed off… I was dreaming of the last time I was checking the AC pressure on my E250 Ford Van and was about to service the R134a. The image of the low pressure cap was vivid and clear, it filled my mind when suddenly,,, POW!!!! IT EXPLODED!!! Widely awaken! It was a loud POP that only could have originated from the dream. “Awkward.” Was it a premonition..? Was it a sign for me to not mess with the AC? Damn microwaved food…? It was so strange and loud that I even thought I was feeling a bit light headed. So, I started examining myself, hoping not to find that I was bleeding from my nose, or ears… PHeewww. Nothing.

Thanks to the folks on the web, I feel much better now, thank God!

IslVoter May 21, 2009, 10:34 pm

These are all the prelude to an OBE (Out of Body Experience). I know–it sounds hokey. But the popping in the head, the sound of loud, LOUD roaring or rushing, the vibrating from inside the body that feels like a super adrenaline rush–all the prelude to an OBE.

I stumbled on this after hearing psychic kids say that their head was popping when an entity was near. They said it was like sinuses but wasn’t sinuses. It’s usually in my side.

The best book is a no-nonsense one by William Buhlman called Adventures Beyond the Body. You can read pages of it on Amazon. It doesn’t take 30 years in a cave in Myanmar.

If you’ve ever thought you’d like to remember what you learned or dreamt during the night, if you want to ask your guide questions and actually remember the answers, it’s worth a shot. At the very least, you’ll understand the weird sounds and feelings you have when you are near sleep.

Kris June 19, 2009, 9:07 pm

I was just diagnosed with EHS an hour ago at the University of Minnesota and have had it for 20 years or so (I’m 36.) I never toold anyone about it because I thought they would think I was crazy. When I finally told my mom last month, my fears were realized. I can’t wait to tell her it’s real and is ACTUALLY called “exploding head syndrome!” Here’s your crazy, mom!

Si June 28, 2009, 12:40 pm

Islvoter – that’s slightly misleading information to be giving out.

I’ve experienced my first explosion and hopefully my last this morning, the back story; two weeks ago I had a sort of mini nervous breakdown coupled with a slew of panic attacks, it was the night after my 3 year old daughters 6th operation. I have spent the past three years highly stressed due to her health conditions and have suffered silently through depression and general negativity. My supression of emotions has also led to IBS, another stress related illness. (Seems I’m subconciously into self sabotage!)

EHS is linked very closely to various stress/anxiety disorders and stress itself which can all be explained using scientific fact. Our brains are chemically unbalanced when stressed and that can manifest itself in more extreme ways in some than in others including physical and mental problems. Some people really believe themselves to not be stressed and feel like they handle their problems well, which is what I thought about myself despite my lows over the past few years. I’d recommend seeing a doctor personally and looking to locate a source for your possible stresses in life and then thinking of a wise and logical way to deal with them, for a lot of people simply talking about their problems is a great cure, but there are many methods and many people willing to help.

EHS is not dangerous, but almost definitely a sign of underlying stress.

Belle June 29, 2009, 9:20 pm

I cannot believe I found this website. After 16 years of dealing with EHS and never telling ANYONE because I thought I was crazy, I couldn’t be happier to know that it has a name and that there are a lot of other people who deal with it.

My experiences with EHS vary slightly from what seems to be the norm. The noises I hear sound like muffled shouting. They are really loud and sometimes last up to 30 seconds and can occur multiple times a night. When I was a child, i’d get them all the time.

Most recently, over the last four years, i’ve only had three episodes. One was accompanied by a migraine.

I think it makes sense that they are stress and fatigue related. And I wonder if maybe emotional stress triggers them more intensely?

Sheril July 16, 2009, 8:48 am

I see that many of these comments are several years old..but I am here to tell you all of this still affects people in 2009.

I have a seizure disorder and my neorologist thinks these noises, gun shots,electrical flow through the body and every thing else all you commenters have described, may be breakthrough seizures. So I take an additional prescription every night. Biggest difference on the additional medication is that the events are so very reduced in volume.

When this first happened to me I was so terrified and did not want to go to bed at night–knowing they would come.

Isn’t it interesting nthat 99% of the events are right after gouing to bed and just as we are drifting off. All of this has to mean something–but what? I don’t believe it is nothing. Since I have a seizure disorder I was positive that I was hearing the discharges…..

Concerned Mom July 25, 2009, 9:39 am

My son is 6 years old. For the past several weeks, he’s been having fears at bedtime. Mostly in bed or right before bed ( but a few times during the day ) he tells us that he’s having “that far away look”. He says that everything looks further away than he knows it to really be. It’s accompanied by fear that he categorizes as a 10 on a scale from 1 to ten. If he sleeps in our bed he says the fear recedes to a 3. He also has been having what he calls very loud booms in his head. Sometimes he’ll have one, other times, five or sometimes more than 30! The intensity varies but usually he says it’s louder than the blender. He’s an extremely bright child who tests at a fifth grade level and can do schoolwork at that level. Sometimes he is prone to overeacting to a small cut to the point of shaking. Or moved to tears and covering his ears by the cheering at a baseball game. He will act panicked and irrational but when removed from the source of his fear he is calm and back to normal.
Most of the time he is a happy well-adjusted child. He is funny, loving and extremely observant. He has had other irrational fears in the past that he has outgrown and now he finds it funny that he was ever afraid. He is vegetarian. His height and weight are normal. He is an only child. He has a happy homelife with two loving parents and a dog. He has good friends and enjoys participating in sports. We have taken him to his physician and had an intake with the psychology dept. We are awaiting the scheduling of an MRI and the appointment with a child pschiatrist. We haven’t had much offered in the way of a possible diagnosis, yet. I’ve recently stumbled upon information on the web about Alice in Wonderland Syndrome, Teleopsia, and Exploding Head Syndrome which seem to fit what’s happening to him. We’ve been feeling really overwhelmed trying to figure out what this is, what might be causing this and what might help him. The possibilites seem endless: Temporal Lobe lesions, migraines auras, Lime disease, B12 or Zinc deficiencies, epilepsy or some sort of seizures, parasomnias ie: auditory sleep starts, pseudotumor, meniere’s disease, middle ear damage, schizophenia and more. We’re trying to see correlations in his diet, activity level, stress, video game, tv or computer use. As you can imagine it is extremely hard not being able to help him. I cannot enter his mind and stop the noise or fix his visual perceptions. We pray together and it’s heartbreaking to hear him ask God to take away his “problems” night after night. I try to tell him that sometimes it takes time for prayers to be answered. He has told me he does believe his “problems” will go away. I do believe God led me here and to other sites so I could tell him he’s not the only one having these problems and that they can go away. If anyone has any information that might help him; we would welcome it. Thank you!

Lucy July 30, 2009, 6:18 am

Hi concerned mom. I hope everything turns out well. I’m not an expert but I’ll just pass on my ideas and experiences. Sounds like you’re doing a great job, keep telling him other peoples stories and experiences, as well as the science behind anxiety (I know he’s six but simplify it if you can.)

I too had a great family and a very cute fluffy dog! I’d say I was a very sensitive child and was also a vegetarian as the idea of eating an animal horrified me to no end. Whatever is happening to the brain it makes you a great empathiser and a great mathematician but unfortunately makes you prone to irrational fears and some very odd brain experiences. The heightened awareness makes crowds and noise a bit overwhelming at times but also makes you very observant.

I can remember having that “far away look” during childhood, mostly at bedtime. I grew out of it during teen years but still have the head explosions (I’m now 26). The “far away look” usually happened when I was very relaxed. It often brings with it a type of panic attack and a sense of doom. I was very grateful to my parents who had a spare bed at the bottom of theirs which I was free to use if I needed to. I know most people think you need tough love to solve problems like these but I’ve found tough love exasperates the anxiety and prolongs it. Of course you can’t wrap your kids in cotton balls but you can provide a sensible level of security and feeling of safety. I’m sure just knowing the bed was there if I needed it meant I was better able to cope with these strange head things.

I keep thinking I’ve worked out what causes the head explosions but then I’ll have another one and my theory won’t add up. I find these incredibly terrifying and each time they happen I think it’s the end of me. I’m so thankful for the internet giving me an opportunity to read other peoples similar and non-fatal stories, yay, very comforting!

I hope you get answers from testing and maybe a step towards fixing the problem. If nothing turns up here’s some thoughts about what might (big emphasis on might) help!

* Try to noise proof where he sleeps. Background noise of people talking, shutting doors and so on increases the likelihood of me having a head explosion.
* Easier said then done but try to stick to the same hours of sleep, I find oversleeping just as problematic as not enough.
* Avoid caffeine ( from chocolate and soft drinks, as opposed to a six year old drinking lattes) and processed sugar.
* Many people with this condition have neck or back problems (I had whiplash a few years ago). Obviously keep the sports up but be wary of him playing hand held video games or watching a TV positioned high, anything where the neck is kept in a strange position for long lengths of time.
* Don’t underestimate the effect anxiety can have on you physically, the mind is an amazing thing! Stress is definitely a contributor to this condition, but its not obvious stress, such as a businessman sitting at his desk 14 hours a day. For me it can be something very unimportant that I worry about for a moment and wham my subconscious takes over. Seems my subconscious can’t distinguish between a real threat and a simple passing concern.
*Look into strategies to deal with anxiety (eg. breathing techniques). Avoid medications! I know I shouldn’t say that but he sounds like he’d be very sensitive to them, as I am. Obviously if it turns out to be something serious then look into it but otherwise hold back.
* Again let him know that many people experience the same thing and they’re doing fine.

Good luck!

kyle August 8, 2009, 10:46 am

My head just exploded!

This is a very scary thing if you don’t know what it is when its happening.

This is only the second night this has happened to me. It happened once two nights ago for the first time. Every time I almost fall asleep I get woken up by the loud vibrating sound in my ears.

It may sound strange but I have been able to control my dreams and I realize I am dreaming right before this happens. I was actually very sleepy in my dream and I was going to find a bed… strange.

Big E August 18, 2009, 4:20 pm

I experience this loud explosion in my head about a month ago, it’s the loudest sound I ever heard before, I mean the loudest scariest blast I have ever experience in my entire life, scare the crap out of me, since my first experience, I had another 3, twice this week, the last one was not as bad as the first 3, however, with the last attack I saw a type of green light, similar to a electrical spark.. I hope this goes away soon because I’m scared to fall asleep; btw I suffer from insomnia and under heavy stress for over 10 year, not sure if it’s related..

biff September 8, 2009, 12:51 am

so.. wathcing an episode of house and mentioned to my wife i have a “buzz” or “shock” sometimes falling asleep. stress or exahouston seems to contribute. actually kinda neat…. not scared anymore.

gerry Myles September 13, 2009, 1:25 am

I just woke up at 1am this morning, I had the scariest experience, a very loud bang inside my head like I had been shot,it happened a few times in the past, I am alone and I was getting frightened, I thought it was very serious a heamorage or the likes, I nearly phoned for help it made me a bundle of nerves, I want to thank every one of you people on here for writing in your symptoms and putting me and others at ease, I feel better knowing we all have the same problem , many thanks . gerry

concernedmom September 24, 2009, 10:39 pm

Thank you, Lucy for taking the time to tell us your experience and give us your advice:) I agree with you about giving your child a “sensible level of security and feeling of safety.” Thankfully the noises and the “far away” vision have stopped. Thank you also to those of you who mentioned taking Zinc in your posts.

The loud noises stopped within two days of making sure he was getting enough Zinc and taking his multivitamin, daily. (I checked all our foods and many foods that are supposed to be good sources of Zinc don’t have it listed on the nutritional information on the label ( such as nuts and milk ). I went grocery shopping with Zinc in mind and now have quite a few sources added to his diet.

The “far away” vision slowed and then eventually stopped when we put an inflatable bed into our son’s room and took turns staying with him every night until he was fast asleep. A few weeks ago we changed to one of us sleeping in there every other night. In between he sleeps by himself with a night-light and some favorite stuffed animal friends:). We will keep lessening the days we are in there until he gets used to sleeping comfortably by himself, again. For a long time he could still make the far away vision come by staring at an object or person. Today I asked him if he could do that anymore and he said, “No!”.

Of course, these are my observations and feelings and I have no double blind tests to back them up. I feel that prayer, Zinc (and a good multivitamin – we give him half the dosage and are eating healthily and expect him to get the rest from his food) and knowing we were there and he was safe every night he needed us. Boy, I wish we stayed in his room sooner. Once he stopped having these issues our worry and stress level went down considerably.

We had taken him to a child psychiatrist which honestly felt like we were being summed up, judged and came up wanting. The one good thing he did was reccommend a neurologist. She was very helpful and ordered and MRI and a EEG to rule a more serious physical cause such as a brain tumor or epilepsy. Believe it or not the MRI scheduled date is finally coming up this week but the EEG is not until next month. (Health care and especially HMO’s are so ridiculous. I can’t imagine the stress & worry we would have experienced if these issues had still been plaguing him all this time)

I hope our experience can help others and I will post again after the MRI and the EEG.

God Bless,

Relieved Mom

blukat October 22, 2009, 4:28 am

i once woke up entirely convinced someone was shooting a gun in our neighborhood and proceeded to call 911! I am sure the operator thought i was a crank or drunk. Lucky that i did not get arrested. That experience was many years ago and since then, I have had many more night time noises, lights, flashes, neon images, zaps, bangs, etc. I also remember as a child suffering from far-away syndrome and being terrfied that I was not anchored to my bed and would just float off into outerspace and disappear. I have migrains w/ auras as well as a thrumming feeling through out my body. Anyway, it’s good to finally have a name for this condition.

lindy dawson November 4, 2009, 9:04 pm

Hi all
I pop back here once in a while to read the new comments.
I posted quite some time back about my own nocturnal zaps jumps and lights….
These have now almost completely gone away since I changed my diet.. It appears I am “sensitive” to certain natural and added chemicals in foods..mainly sulphites and salicylates…as long as I stick to the restricted diet I am ok..
The “far-away” seeing a few people have talked about is really interesting.. I remember this from childhood..mainly in assembly at school when someone was talking… everything and everyone looks further away and strange…
I was also rather an anxious child…..
Lindy xx

lg November 12, 2009, 11:27 am

I too was happy to find this site after experiencing this night “zinging.” I went to a neurologist who had never heard of this and sent me for an MRI which came back normal.My neurologist did some research and said it was considered a benign condition but the cause is unknown.

In reading the blogs on this site I came across an earlier one with “expert commentary” from Dr J.M.S Pearce who apparently came up with the name exploding head syndrome. I copied it and gave it to my doctor for future reference. He agreed with it but said it was speculative research done only from patient narrative.I think we all would like to know what causes this but for now I hope this helps.

lg November 15, 2009, 6:52 pm

Here is the article mentioned above:
This description of a momentary loud noise on falling asleep is characteristic of the disorder I named the exploding head syndrome. This harmless but alarming condition is common, but reported by patients only rarely. It occurs only in the twilight stages of sleep, when falling asleep or, less often, on awakening. It is usually a terrifyingly loud noise, lasting for a split second. There are no accompaniments other than the acute anxiety and palpitations that succeed it. In some patients, myoclonic jerks of the limbs or a visual flash of lightning accompany the sound, as in this instance.
Weir Mitchell may have been describing this phenomenon when referring to “sensory shocks… a feeling of rending… a bolt driven through the head.” Armstrong-Jones described a frequent complaint of a sudden crash or noise as if something had given way in the brain. Oswald described “a flash of light accompanied by a violent bang” with “a sense of alarm, together with a cold sweat, laboured breathing and tachycardia.”
The dramatic nature is evident in patients’ words: “an enourmous roar, so loud it could kill me”; some, however, say that it can be mild and infrequent. The terror induced is often the most worrying feature, until some degree of acceptance is achieved after many years in which they have maintained good health. Preceding events are generally unremarkable, but some have noted attacks to start and to recur when they were under personal stress or tired and overworked.
The onset is variable; some start in childhood, but no decade is spared. However, the most common age of onset is in middle and old age. The pattern of episodes of explosions is also variable. Some report two or four attacks followed by prolonged or total remission; others have more frequent attacks, up to seven in 1 night for several nights each week, and may then remit for several months, for reasons largely unknown. Some sufferers describe associated symptoms. About 10% report a simultaneous flash of light; 5 % report a curious sensations as if they have stopped breathing and had to make a deliberate effort to breath again- “an uncomforatble gasp.”
The condition is physiological. Investigations for a causative cerebal lesion are inveriably fruitless and unnecessary. The most important aspect is to reassure the sufferer that it is a well-recognised and characteristic symptom and that it is totally harmless. Drug treatment is no indicated.
As we fall asleep, the neuronal activity in the brain stem reticular formation subsides. This, in turn, switches off the motor, sensory, visual, and auditory parts of the cerebral hemispheres. The basis of the exploding head syndrome is postulated to be a delay in selected areas of the reticular fromation in switching off, and a paroxysm of neuronal activity is manifest by these alarming experiences, be they myoclonus, loud noise, or a flash of light.

Eva November 19, 2009, 6:28 pm

Gosh, I was thinking i had a brain tumor that the doctors didn´t see on the 102981 exams i took.. i don´t hear a noise but i get the buzz on my head almost on like each 10 mins or less sometimes (maybe those are the times when i get really stressed). It´s like my brains stop for less than a second, it´s really weird and worst.. nobody understands me. I also have a vision problem, looks like i´m seeing the world through an old TV but the light dots doesn´t affect my vision. Once it got really bad and i saw a thing like a half moon (seem like made of water)on the left side of my vision, it lasted for 10 mins then i got e really bad headache. My dreams are a bit confusing as well, sometimes i am conscious during them, and sometimes i wake up not being able to move or talk.. than after a while of panic i suddenly “wake up”. What I have is a kind of EHS? Searching on the internet have brought me to this website . It looks like EHS is the closest to what is happening to me. Thank you

Catherine November 27, 2009, 2:41 pm

He he,I had one of these experiences just last week. How weird it was! The bang was so loud I jumped out of bed! My whole body lifted up! Scary at the time but relieved it seems quite common! Its unbelievable that such a unconceivably loud noise can happen in your head!!

I hope its not a regular thing either!

steve November 30, 2009, 11:00 pm

ehs is spiritual, what you hear is people when they die. it’s a last cry for death on leaving the world. we are all capable of hearing it but we hear it mostly when we just drift off to sleep coz your mind is in a form of meditation.
i discoverd it after years of hearing it then when my friend died it was louder than i’d ever heard it. his death and the time of ehs were presice. people die all the time and we hear them leave the world just like when a star goe’s supernova it becomes the brightest thing in the galexy. it is ultimate death. we all have a star somewhere in the universe its our life force, our base of inteligence we live many lives on earth . someone will allways see the world from your point of view coz you’ve been around for thousands of years. why do you think ghosts take the form of orbs ? it’s just reflecting the star you are. train yourself to meditate and every now and then you will hear the popping of souls leaving thier body’s. but don’t think for one minute the journey ends there. we are connected to the universe in ways you can’t inmagine . be the luminus soul you guys are we are evolution……steve smith but my real name ,my soul name is azievio

michael December 1, 2009, 6:59 am

I have been up tonight searching all over the net for a reason why I have been having this loud gunshot like sound in my head and thankfully I found this site,now I am assured that I am not alone.I was falling asleep tonight and almost there when I heard a loud pop in my head.I have only had this happen a few times in my life.I am 32 years of age,I don’t have a regular sleep pattern,I have very lucid dreams sometimes almost prophetic,I do have alot of stress right now in my life but when the pop happened tonight my stress seemed to be relieved,I do drink more caffiene than I should,never had surgery and I am not on any medications.
Thank you to everyone who has posted in this forum.I am very curious as to what EHS is caused from,but I am relieved that it’s not only me who goes through this.

cccc December 3, 2009, 10:39 am

My experiences began with hearing leaf crunching sounds as a kid…my heartbeat…and the noise would go high to low. This was never a problem. Last year I was having night terrors that were hollywood like. Seeing anything horrible on tv magnified it. I was also clinically depressed and put on prozac. Soon after while adjusting to this med. I would hear pinging on tin foil while asleep. Someone would “shout” in my ear and I would run to check on the kids only to have a quiet house. It had gotten to the point to where I heard the gun shots that weren’t happening…except for the one night they did and I wasn’t sure if it was real or not…yes, down the street, gang related. Now I am a yr on prozac with a few med adjustments. Every once in awhile I get a “bang” with the tunnel sucking pulling feeling and other bizarre stuff…some feeling spiritual, some feeling sciency of being on prozac. My dr. has me with a journal and I never write anything because when it happens I am too tired to write what is going on and I am vague the next morning of what happened. My dr. at one point said something about sleep paralysis, but so far I’ve not explored this further with her because I don’t want to do a sleep study thing. I’m relieved to have read this blog, I figured it was the prozac and depression. Tonight I had a big episode and ended up here…I limit caffeine because of the headaches, my husband bought caffeinated coffee and I LOOOOOVE coffee so I’ve been drinking it. ANNNNND I never drink soda that much…before bed I drank a whole can of cherry coke. This episode scared me because I feel like I was in a vortex of some sort and had the “falling” feeling that was different than the regular “falling” falling asleep episodes. I hope that makes sense. This syndrome is way too complex. I think people experience it in different stages with different things that effect it.

Nancy from long island December 13, 2009, 1:43 am

Ok, It’s 2am and I’ve been sleeping for hours and I hear metal on metal like a moving car hits a parked car. Its soooo loud I fly out of bed and run to the window to see who hit what. Nothing. I run down the stairs and look at the windows and nothing, I open the door to see if it was down the block, nothing. My heart is beating so fast I’m up for hours. This has been going on for the past few years not all the time, but enough to piss me off. I’m starting to think…..
# 1 did I die in a past life in a car crash?
# 2 As a child I lived so close to a Turnpike in the 70’s in the middle of the night car accidents ( metal on metal ) crys in the night, could it be flash backs???
I don’t drink soda and I don’t eat and go to bed. Red wine YES. Doctors orders 1 to 2 glasses of wine is good for the heart.
What do you think??? outer body jumping back in, naa the metal is too loud. I’m not a kid, 47 year old that is open minded.

Amy January 1, 2010, 3:07 am

I don’t know if anybody did this already. I didn’t read all the comments. . . there are just so many. As was suggested by eek way back in 2006, I made a survey if anybody is interested in taking it.
Follow my URL link listed above for EHS Survey.

sha January 20, 2010, 1:53 am

Every so often, I’ll be laying in bed in a light sleep, when I’ll hear a loud bang that startles me awake, only to find there really was no sound. It’s weird when it happens—like someone is inside my head and hits a sheet of metal with a crowbar. I know that a few months ago I looked on the web and found there was a term for this, but I can’t seem to find it now. Has anyone else experienced the phenomenon or know anything about it?

>> WOW..someone else who gets this? I have been getting that for years. It starts off with the bang ( like you got hit in the head w/ something ) I also get a rush feeling on my left side then my heart palpitates. I jerk my neck from that sudden bang and get scared that I am going to snap my neck. ( probably can’t happen ) I try to explain what you mentioned above to about 7 doctors and I swear they think I’m a psycho. Anyway, I’m still looking into it. Keep me posted if you find out what causes it PLEASE> sb

James January 27, 2010, 10:51 pm

EHS…..good to know, what it is that happens to me every so often. It certainly startles me, its hard to describe to someone who has never had it happen to them.

My first episode was while I was asleep,as most of them have been over the years, but I have had numerous times when it has occurred in the middle of the day.

I would best describe my noises as though someone has just burst a balloon inside my head.

Usually after the event, I am much more alert and focused.

Anne January 28, 2010, 2:59 pm

I have had this for so many years. The shotgun blasts in the bedroom, phones that wake me up but aren’t ringing, people who are shouting at me but not there. The prettiest one was the firework that exploded and slid down the side of my head. Small losses of consciousness like someone turns off the power and then back on.

For the last week I have felt as if I have been in a mushroom factory with puff-balls exploding day and night in quick succession. I got to sleep at 6.00am this morning. Like others it was when I try to lift my head. I also experience small losses of consciousness as if someone turns off the power and then back on. Just long enough for the whole world to swim around me.

I have a condition called Sarcoidosis: systemic; and progressive and I thought it was one of the myriad symptoms associated with this. I had convinced myself that I was going mad. I need to speak to my doctor again.

I haven’t read all of the comments here I am just relieved to know I am not *Alone in the Universe*

Thank goodness for the internet.

Sarah March 1, 2010, 7:43 pm

Wow, there are hundreds of accounts on this phenomenon. I remember when I was about 18 years old I was going through a stressful time and was looking up weird things up on the internet as like an escape if you will. I was reading up on the instructions on how to astral project (don’t ask). Remembering the instructions, one night while laying flat on my bed and went to attempt this silly sounding and weird feat. Well, this is the weird part:

There was a part in the instructions which said what will you will experience when you’re close to achieving the said insane feat, and that was that I’d get what sounds like static in my head close to my ears. I got EXACTLY that, although before I could even get any further I was interrupted with the door opening and someone putting fresh tea on my table.

Whether this is related to EHS or not, I will say I was creeped out for a few days afterwards.

Warren April 11, 2010, 1:45 pm

I have had these kind of experiences for years, but never new what they where. I am not that severe, but do have times as to when this loud whooshing sound overcomes me and drowns out my hearing for a short while.

Scary at first, but have learned to accept it now.

Jade April 13, 2010, 5:02 am

Twenty years ago, a drunk driver in a truck crashed into the front of my house- all 4 tires were on the living room carpet and I was sitting in the living room at the time. At the time I was diagnosed with PTSD.
Since then I’ve had this and I thought it was some kind of memory off the terrible noise I heard that night, it’s so loud I still jump up and check to see if it’s happened again. Last night I had a very loud buzzing noise and sensation-like a chain saw in my head which is new. I also suffer from frequent migraines.

newforme April 19, 2010, 4:06 am

Well -I am incredibly relieved to have found and read all this. I was terrified by what happened the other night- this bang in my head like a little- but loud – gun going off.

i am particularly intrigued by Serendipity’s questions -shadow man phenomenon; insomnia; the experience between the point of awakeness into
sleep; spiritual beliefs.

Anybody want to talk about the “Shadow man” phenomenon? I was flabbergasted to see this but recognized it immediately.

Serendipity – care to elaborate?

Beb April 20, 2010, 12:01 pm

About 12 years ago it began, during a time of great stress and deep tiredness I suffered over a 5 year period with flashes of light while I had an explosion inside my head, and always was there a creeping “fizzy” feeling coming on just before the explosion (like a warning) which was accompanied by a strange, “muffled” pain. It jolted my head severely for a second. These explosions are a type of migraine headache and one can find information on the internet. I rarely have them now and I must say it’s great to be free of them.

Shadow man? I know about them. I have experienced them and they are not a figment of the imagination.

Professor April 27, 2010, 12:01 am

Yes , what you describe has been well documented in scientific literature in the Harvard Medical Review… It is associated with excessive MASTURBATION!!

Debbie May 25, 2010, 1:57 pm

I had two esxplosion sounds inside my head when I was trying to sleep last night which made me jump and really worried me

Me June 15, 2010, 1:28 pm

I had this happen last night. I heard it in my left ear and it was like a tyre exploding or a gun shot noise. Although I hadn’t had any pain, I got up thinking that maybe an ear drum had burst or something – so wanted to check that I wasn’t bleeding. No pain, no panic. Today, however, I noticed that my left eye has a burst blood vessel – not sure if I perhaps knocked that whilst asleep or if that and the noise where connected. And yes, work is superstressful at the moment!

marie lou July 24, 2010, 1:45 am

Thank god for this webpage 🙂 I finally got to place a name on what’s happening to me…. I don’t hear a gun shot, but a huge buzzing sound that lasts 2 seconds. This is the buzzing I hear
The buzzer 17 .

Trudy August 3, 2010, 6:04 am

I am 62 yr’s old. I was diagnosed by a neurologist in 1989 with EHS after my symptoms were scaring me to death, and I thought I was having mini-strokes or something. Most all of the symptons above, match what I was experiencing. The big bang, or pop in the head, accompianed by flashes of light and usually involuntary muscle jerks. I won’t go into all the details, as would take too long. I had been seeing a chiropractor, that insisted I had whip lash prior to my symtoms. I know they were ambulance chasers and should have been more forthright with them, as I had no neck pain.

My symptons started 3 months after going to them 5 days a week, for 2 months. He was manipulating my neck, each of the 5 days I went. I should have said something, as I knew that the neck should not be manipulated more than 3 times per week.
When I went to my primary Dr. he sent me to the neurologist and I had to return for a sleep study.
He then sent a letter to my Dr. telling him of the “not so rare” disorder, and prescibed me klonopin for relief of the symptons. My primary Dr. gave me the klonopin, and it did in fact relieve the explosions, and the muscle jerks.

As klonopin was a fairly new drug at the time, there was not a generic form yet, and was costing me $35 a month, which I could not afford. I did some research, and discovered that it contained “diazepam” one of the many benzo-drugs on the market. I knew that valium contained it and was also a muscle relaxor, as I had taken it yr’s before.
So I requested the valium and was given it in place of the klonopin. At the time it cost me $3 and change for a 30 day supply.
My primary Dr. did not really “believe” that there was a phenomonon called this, and would always laugh and tell me so.

In 2005 I had to leave the state, and knew I would have to establish a relationship with a new Dr. so I asked my primary Dr. to write a letter stating my history and current meds I was on for the new Dr. I went to his office to pick it up and went home.

Upon opening the letter, I was surprised to find out that he had included a 2 page copy of an article about EHS in a monthly newletter from Jama. He included a personal note to me, wishing me well, and said although he included the article, he was still not convinced/

Rewind to my visit with the neurologist, he told me after my sleep test,and the history I gave him re: my experience with the chiropractor that in his opinion, he “thought” that the excessive manipulation of my neck, he would have to say that there was permanent nerve damage done to the brain stem. However did no testing to confirm. I have not been to a neurologist since,,except a neuro-spinal Doc. that performed emergency surgery on my back in 2006 after I was run over by a car.

He did not “think’ the EHS was for real either.
I continue to take my valium, of course after so many yrs. have had to increase the dosage. However, if I do not take it, I no longer have the flashes of light, but the feeling of a “pop” or more like “boing” is still experienced.
Accompianed by the intense muscle jerks. They can wake me out of a sound sleep. When first diagnosed, was told exactly what was happening to me, happened during the pre-sleep stage, right before we are about to enter REM sleep.

SO for all the skeptics out there, this is a real condition, and if you are looking for a “cure” there is none. But there is relief with the benzo’s. I have lived with it for 21 yr’s and I have no reason to make it up.

I am just thankful that there is “something” that gives relief.
*And to the guy* that described the feeling as if it were a twang of a popping guitar string, that’s exactly how it is. However, I have always descibed as a “boing”..kinda like when you take a spring out of a ballpoint pen, and hold it between 2 fingers, pull one end, and as you let go it goes “boing”. But the guitar sting is a better and more accurate desription, thank you sir, you nailed it on the head!! Its true, there is no pain, but it is very disturbing, and increases heartrate, as it’s like a shock. That is my story relating to EHS.

michael December 5, 2010, 8:11 pm

I’m so happy to find this site. Finally, after 40 years pondering this strange phenomonon, I find it is a rather common human experience. I had my first bang at 15 years old while I fell into a mid-afternoon nap. I awoke to what I thought was a gun being discharged outside my bedroom window. My whole body jolted up while my heart was rapidly pounding. I cautiously looked out my window to see what was going on and of course it was just a normal summer day. I experienced my second bang some 15 years later, again, while taking a mid-day nap. Never forgetting my first bang, I said “well, here it is again” These experiences were before personal computers, internet and search engines. So, here I am now searching once again this profound mystery that has baffled me all these years, and I come across this wonderful site. Bless all of you for writing your experiences.

When I searched this subject 8 years ago there was very little information available. I don’t recall what search engine was used. I do recall there was a site that said the bang was a reaction to time travel and passing through different dimensions. I can’t say if this theory is true or not true. Only time will tell. Although I do believe time travel is a real possibility.

I do like the theory of the inner ear tube “snap”. This sounds like the most likely suspect and makes most sense. I hope the research will come to prove it out.

I’ve also experienced the electrical discharge phenomonon where a large spark and flash jolts the frontal area of the brain. Sort of a short circuit or the sudden discharge of a capicitor. Like A discharge of stored up electrical current in the brain. I find both the bang and the spark most interesting events, not to fear but to study and understand.

Experiences of late, and is what has lead me to search this subject again, is the bangs and sparks have been replaced, at least for now, with the sound of a gentle bell ringing or the tones of a low melodious…beep-beep-beep. I always wake up when I hear these tones. But wihtout being able to understand what generates these tones, I am left somewhat bewildered and frustrated at the lack of solid information on the cause.

In the end I have no answers just questions…

May your lives be blessed wiht happiness contentment

maggie February 1, 2011, 1:11 pm

Woke up middle of last night with a sound like low cannon going off near my left ear. woke instantly. check to see if i had a stroke, Strangest thing

Michelle February 15, 2011, 3:18 am

I started having this about 5 years ago when I was 27, shortly after I started taking hydrocodone for back pain. I had been going to the chiropractor previously, but it was not helping me.
The first time it happened I thought I had been hit in the head with something huge, and had a bright white flash of light. I even “felt” it, although only the force–it was not painful. Once I awoke and realized no one had tried to murder me in my sleep, I then thought I had had a stroke. I was terrified. I seemed okay though, so I went back to sleep. It happened after that almost every night. I thought it was the hydrocodone causing it. I haven’t taken any pain medicine in 2 years, but I still occasionally have episodes.
The last one I had was the worst one ever, because when I woke up I couldn’t move for a few seconds. I thought I was done for! I’m so glad to know that not only is this harmless, but common. I wish I had looked it up sooner.

dax March 21, 2011, 5:11 pm

i have the same thing although mine sounds like a 22 rifle going off in my has taken some time to figure out but im willing to bet that most of us who have this occurrence also have vivid dreams,sleep paralysis,sleep didorders,headaches,and feelings that something in your life is slightly out of whack.i believe what is happening is the beginning of astral projection or an out of body experience.i met someone who claims to project daily and intentionally and often shows up to work with bruises on his forehead.he claims he receives these as he forcefully leaves his body.and before you ask im not big on eastern meditation and religion im actually of the christian faith.i just believe there are different things out there.

dax March 21, 2011, 5:12 pm

ps this always happens during falling asleep or waking up usually more frequent in daytime naps

Robert May 1, 2011, 3:13 pm

I have just a few months ago started having these “head explosions.” I am 74, have Parkinsons Disease and one kidney that is not healthy. Naturally, I was scared. What is happening, Parkinsons deteriation, failing kidney, mini-stroke or what? My neurologist blew me off, had his assistant tell me to see my psychiatrist. I think a brain surgeon should be better acquainted with this condition as it affects so many people. Surely, he could have at least brought me in, examined me, and given me some reassurance. My wife wants me to get another doctor, but I don’t want to go through all the hassel just to have another doctor blow me off. Anyway, I am not as frightened as I was. Thanks everyone for sharing.

Maxeen May 5, 2011, 12:27 pm

praise the lord! i wish i would have found this sooner, i had this happen to me 8 months ago. When i woke up i was so frightened which brought on panic attacks. and left me in a mess for months. i’ve been living in fear ever since. i asked god last night to help me, because i can’t take it anymore. i thought i was going to die. And no doctor can help you. and i found this today and i feel much better that we’re all in the same boat. i’m just praying to god now. for a answer why we are getting it. could be stress. and anxiety or it could be an attack on the mind from that dirty devil.

god bless you all
i will pray for you all tonight
and we should all do the same for each other in the name of jesus

amen. xxx

Meredith O'Toole May 19, 2011, 9:38 pm

I have MS. approx. 35 lesions in my brain re: MRI. I suffer from trigemneuralgia left side of my face for years. I had a interesting experience of visually seeing bright white light in zig zag pattern, sound of static, My head and left shoulder shuttered twice and on third count I heard a very loud noise and visualized rich purple on left side of face during sleep…also experienced sleep paralysis on occasions. I have secondary progressive MS. I am sensitive to noise, chemicals. I am currently suffering from a relapse……extreme fatigue and pain

alexandra May 24, 2011, 8:36 am

I have explerienced the exploding head syndrome only twice. Both times it was like a gunshot/explosion around my left ear. There were no other symptoms, but it was very frightening. I was interested to read the posting from the woman who thought there might be a connection to chemicals. Do any of you have metal hip implants or other metal implants? Probably no connection, but with all the press about metal ions just thought I’d ask. . .

Gerald Fiore June 30, 2011, 9:30 am

When I was in my 20’s had a sort of similar thing happen to me, it was like an elastic band being pulled apart a few feet and it SNAPPING back into place in the centre of my brain, that freaked me out, I was having lots of stress and anxiety in that period. In my 30’s went to the mountains in China and meditated, the first day did 4 and half hrs (3 x one and a half hrs sessions) That first night when I went to sleep I was woken by a massive FLASH OF LIGHT, no bang just from blackness to WHITE LIGHT, I was sweating as I thought I had some brain hemmoraging or something bad like I was going to die, when nothing else happened I got tired and went back to sleep, told the meditation teacher next morning and he didn’t know what to say, a fellow student said jokingly maybe it’s a tumor? I didn’t find the joke too funny, anyway this was in 2004 and so 7yrs and haven’t meditated since, seeing as I thought it was something to do with the meditating, I want to take up meditating again and so started to look up what the bright light in my sleep might have been, I thought it was like a kind of awakening.

John July 10, 2011, 4:39 pm

I am 76 years old. Following discharge from hospital after a leg vein bypass operation, I have just started having EHS, four episodes in the last week. Good to know that I’m not alone and that it appears benign. During recuperation from leg ulcers I sleep in a large and lovely chair. I seem to sleep in bursts during the day and stay awake at night. So far on a couple of occasions my leg or arm muscles twitched in sympathy. I’m determined to find out more as I have an identical twin and we seem to share similar symptoms.
More later if I discover anything.

Annonymous August 14, 2011, 8:06 am

Explodig head syndrome is a mind trick. Your mind can become controlled by phenominon that we would ordinarily brush off, laugh at or refute because science tells us these things can’t and don’t exist or until it happens to us. They do exist and they can affect you. Some unfortunate people “pick up” these phenominon and pow they experience something that logic dictates just can’t be. I don’t have the answer as to how to become immune, I wish I did.

pj August 25, 2011, 7:54 pm

Well… I have been having EHS since i was in my 20’s. I am now 55. I have never mentioned this to anyone until today. I was “shaken awake rather abruptly” at 1:13 this morning. I thought my next door neighbor may have been shot. The explosion was so loud in my head that when i finally got awake, I realized my husband sleeping next to me and all was very quiet. I kept thinking, could he not hear that???. As soon as I got to work i thought how would I look this up? Explosions in my head. OMG! EHS! Self Explanatory! No doubt!! I called my mother and discussed this and found out that she has experienced this since she was young. I am all for digging deeper and checking this out to see if this has any spiritual connection. In a good sort of way though. all i can say is ‘NOW I KNOW”.

Pam August 28, 2011, 5:37 pm

I have to say this is a first for me. This morning around 8:30am I woke up to what I thought was an explosion. I woke up and looked around. My cats were sound asleep as was my husband. I woke him up to ask if he heard anything. He didn’t. All morning I wondered what happened to me. It was obvious that it happened inside my head. I was really scared. After a few hours I went online and typed in “loud pop in head”. This is actually something that does happen and has a name. I am praying it never happends again. At least I know I am not the only one that this has happened to.

Georgie September 14, 2011, 6:26 am

So pleased to find this site. For a couple of years now I have been experiencing weird noises as I’m dropping off to sleep and I jolt up slightly shaken.Mine is like a high vibration noise a cross between a guitar string being twanged and a bad techno tone.It’s like I can feel as well as hearing it. So bizarre. Exploding Head Syndrome is the best name ever! Can’t wait to tell people I have it. They might think I’m loosing the plot though!

Julie September 14, 2011, 7:08 pm

Hey, I have had this happen for years, like most, it is when I am exhausted and tired.
I think we should all form a club and have a camping sleep-over, see who hears the most bangs!!
Could you imagine having this while in the Atmy in The Middle East….LOL, I would be up shooting all around me !


fi September 15, 2011, 5:58 pm

so happy to find out that i have EHS. Just as i am drifting off to sleep i wake up with a huge crashing sensation in my head and flashing lights in front of my eyes. Sometimes it happens just a few times and other times it goes on the whole night long. When i told my GP he looked puzzled and sent for an MRI scan and they found nothing. I also have tinnitus which startd around the same time. I had an operation last year and that’s when my EHS started.

Tarah September 20, 2011, 9:14 am

I was just falling asleep and half dreaming when i hear a pop and a flash and i woke up. sounded like someone poped me in the back of the head real hard but i didnt feel anything. Im 20 years old and this is the first time its happened to me. I hope it dont happen again.

lea October 3, 2011, 7:20 pm

hey im from australia and have just found whats been happening to me is EHS. Only thing is since this started other weird stuff is going on. Its like I am taken somewhere but thats all i remember, like your memory is erased.But when that happens its never a good feeling is frightening. I do not suffer mental illness or any nuerological disorders. I am a hard working 46 yr old with 2 teenagers still at home. I know its happening and i am not going mad.Anyone else out there who has these two things linked together too? Hopefully we could help each other fill in the blank bits. Lea.

Ronnie M October 12, 2011, 7:52 pm

I am not insane! I’ve had doctors laugh when I’ve described what I’ve heard inside my head. I’ve been searching for years and am thrilled to find this site. I’ve been jolted out of sleep from an extremely loud “ping.” It’s like hammering metal and there have been flashes of light. I haven’t mentioned it in years although it still happens. I don’t. O the term “exploding head syndrome” but I’ll take it for now. Thank you all for your posts.

Jon A October 15, 2011, 9:24 am

I have had this a few times. Oddly enough, it has only been when I’ve slept in an empty house, and was a tad uneasy about being alone at night. Each time, I’d wake up in the middle of the night, then when I’d drift off to sleep a few minutes later, a huge bang would occur. Almost like a TV falling over. I always thought people broke into my house or something of that nature, then to find out there was no such sort. Honestly, I was very very creeped out by it.

Some things about myself:
I am male, 21 years old. A smoker. Drink occasionally. I had pretty bad sleep paralysis when I was younger. I am bipolar, and have misophonia.

Luke October 20, 2011, 7:30 am

I just recently had that exact same loud bang go off in my head as i just fell asleep. i thought maybe lightning had struck the bedroom, i woke up instantly and very startled and could not move for about 5 seconds…Ive done some research and talked to my doctor and they seem to think this shows more of a TIA or minor stroke. Ive never heard of exploding head syndrome and frankly that sounds ridiculous…but whatever…have the doc check or carotid arteries!!! when they stop pumping the blood to the brain u have that sudden bang that jump starts everything again to get the blood pumping. This is very serious and should be checked instantly!

denise November 10, 2011, 6:49 pm

well..i just had my first one and am fairly relieved to find this site although one person above says her dr. calls it a stroke. anyway, i’m 51 years old and was taking a short nap due to extreme tiredness today on my day off, and had an explosion inside my head top right. i think it’s still a little sore in there but not sure. weird, scary, and can’t believe it’s EHS!!!! what a great club to be in!!!!!!!!!!!

Lorikeet December 16, 2011, 9:26 pm

I have had problems with balance and nausea ever since I had a virus which got into my ears. Now I suspect I have Otosclerosis (arthritis of the bones of the middle ear).

The term you are looking for is Exploding Head Syndrome (google and read). It is more common in people in the 50+ age group and affects more women than men.

I have been rudely awakened by a very loud bang coming from my right ear about 5.00 a.m., which was extremely frightening. Since then I have had another bang come from it in the daytime while sitting, probably less loud because I didn’t have a pillow holding the noise in. Neither instance involved any pain.

Prior to that, I was awakened by something which sounded like a short circuit in one of the cranial nerves at the back of my neck. At first I thought I must have dreamed it, but I have experienced it again twice in the early hours of the morning.

According to the Wikipaedia article I read, loud noises could be caused by a sudden movement of the middle ear or eustachian tube.

Other electrical type noises and buzzes which sound like a short circuit are believed to be caused by mild temporal lobe seizures, although nothing has yet been discovered on EEG examination of patients.

A person can experience “brain zaps” due to withdrawal of SSRI anti-depressants.

If any of these problems is driving you nuts, it can apparently be treated with Clomipramine.

I have suffered from Fibromyalgia, which is a central nervous system disorder, for 26 years.

Lorikeet December 16, 2011, 10:37 pm

Sorry, I forgot to mention I also heard a loud whooshing noise coming from my right ear once. This sounded like a skyrocket being launched on Guy Fawkes’ night. I have never seen any flashing lights. I am fairly certain I have some kind of pressure problem in the middle ear (both ears, right ear is worse).

I have 3 adult sons who share an IQ in the top 2% of the population with their mum. Some of us are clairvoyant and/or can practice telepathy and/or telekinesis. We have experienced some interesting things including sharing a house with poltergeists for 11 years.

One son is on drugs for Epilepsy, but I don’t think he is epileptic. He has also had Restless Legs Syndrome and got a terrible fright once when one whole side of his body turned numb. I think he suffers from significant workplace stress because he has to keep the Chinese and Russians out of our nations’ IT security systems.

I have had at least 10 general anaesthetics. One time I was given the drug that killed Michael Jackson and had frightening dreams before waking up that made me feel like bolting out of the recovery room. After that, each time I had ANY anaesthetic, I woke up feeling the same.

I have no doubt that Michael Jackson deliberately suicided so he wouldn’t have any more of those dreams.

I have found that some very clever people are considered to be suffering from Paranoid Schizophrenia, when I don’t there is anything wrong with them. Their understanding of the world is simply not understood by lesser mortals. Very clever people are often treated like garbage by people of lesser intelligence and/or experience. This is very distressing.

This fellow who shot lots of people in Oslo seems very clever to me. I have read some of his written work. He has been labelled a Paranoid Schizophrenic so that no one will listen to him. He was even arraigned in a closed court so he couldn’t deliver any information to observers.

It is thought that he shot the children of the world’s leading bankers to prevent them from ruling the world. Admittedly this was both drastic and illegal action, but in the future I believe he may be considered one of the world’s greatest humanitarians.

Cat in Colorado February 20, 2012, 5:38 pm

WOW…I can say as everyone else has said “I am not alone”. Never mentioned it to anyone before because I didn’t want them avoiding me thinking I was nutz! I am over 50 and have as of last night my 3rd experience. The 1st one wasn’t a BANG but a LOUD roaring escalating till I woke after the bright lights started. I was having a dream of bombs going over and saw one bomb coming right at me and the roaring started. I woke to my heart pounding and the quietest sound I have ever felt and was relieved to see I was still hear. The dream is etched in my head forever. The 2nd time was aloud BANG and woke with the heart pounding and like others thought someone had shot them or someone close by. I checked outside but all was quiet. It has been a year till last night I had another loud BANG. I was dreaming of driving fast and the car lost control and was heading toward a metal beam and BANG..I woke with a pounding heart and thought someone had just shot me in the head but no one was there when I woke with a pounding heart. Both my cats were still sleeping right next to my body so I knew it had to come from my head…Which scared me even more. Why then if there are so many experiencing this that no one has ever talked about it and made it known before???? And that the doctors don’t seem to acknowledge it?

Michael March 25, 2012, 9:59 pm

Dear people who leave messages on this site,

I posted my loud head bang experiences on 12/5/2010. Starting from the top of this page to the bottom, all these common experiences, it seems the most common trait that we all share has to do with sleep.

Many have said that they have talked to their medical doctor about this loud bang in the head, and yet, not one positive reaction from any doctor.

Have not one of us been considering a “common amongst us” but rare sleep disorder? Have not one of us been to a sleep disorder clinic? Have not one of us found an opportunity to discuss this phenomenon with a sleep disorder expert? I would find it interesting that we all have this experience and yet no solid leads as to it’s cause from a scrutinizing, knowledgeable sleep disorder expert.

I would recommend we all, at every given opportunity, ask our health care professionals to review this topic on this web site, especially if some of you might have access to a sleep expert.

Happily, I’ve been sleeping well of late.

Best wishes, Michael

Schooldaze May 5, 2012, 12:27 am

I think the name “Exploding Head Syndrome” is ridiculous! Who came up with that? However for the last few nights I have been waking up to a loud sound like the banging on metal that many have described-actually to me it sounded like an old-fashioned bell, the rounded dome type with the little hammer that strikes it repeatedly, like an alarm (although in the past I’ve heard what sounded like a loud door slamming shut). Over a year ago I developed “pulsatile tinnutis”, all kinds of sounds in my ear ringing, buzzing, whirring, whooshing, usually in sync with my heartbeat, and these can happen day or night, awake or asleep, though I’m more aware of it at night when it’s quiet. I assumed that the recent noises were related. I think the tinnitus for me is being caused by severe anemia, which is caused by menstrual problems. It’s always at its worse during and just after my period, however the week before I may have days when I don’t hear anything at all. I am a 50 years old (and obviously female). I think one of the other posters is right, we all need to be included in some sort of sleep study so we can get relief. I think I want to see a Chinese Medicine Practicioner since it’s pretty clear the typical Western Medicine docs don’t know what to do with this. Good luck everyone!

David J June 11, 2012, 9:18 am

Came across this webpage as last night i woke about 3am and when i tried to get back to sleep i heard a loud bang which sounded like a door being slammed shut although in the past it sounded like a shotgun. It happened at the exact point (as it has before) that i sometimes get the falling feeling but this time i got the loud bang. seem to have fast heartbeat when it happens so prob just stress!!!!

charan kb July 16, 2017, 1:19 pm

I do not see that as exploding head syndrome.Most used word is hypnagogia.This phenomenon is not something new that just happens to you.It is as much from a part of your own effort that results in this.

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